Dominik Kulakowski

Dominik Kulakowski
Clark University · Graduate School of Geography

Ph.D.

About

94
Publications
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3,864
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Publications

Publications (94)
Article
This study examines the post-fire biogeophysical and biochemical dynamics after several high-severity wildfires that occurred in mixed conifer and ponderosa pine forest types in the Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains regions between 1986 and 2017. We found a consistent pattern of reduced leaf area index (LAI) in the first year after fire, followed...
Article
In contrast to abrupt changes caused by land cover conversion, subtle changes driven by a shift in the condition, structure, or other biological attributes of land often lead to minimal and slower alterations of the terrestrial surface. Accurate mapping and monitoring of subtle change are crucial for an early warning of long-term gradual change tha...
Article
Increased wildfire activity and climate change have intensified disturbance regimes globally and have raised concern among scientists and land managers about the resilience of disturbed landscapes. Here we test the effects of climate, topographic variation, and pre‐fire stand structure on regeneration in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifoli...
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Full-text available
Since the late 1990s, extensive outbreaks of native bark beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) have affected coniferous forests throughout Europe and North America, driving changes in carbon storage, wildlife habitat, nutrient cycling, and water resource provisioning. Remote sensing is a crucial tool for quantifying the effects of these disturbances...
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Disturbances have shaped most terrestrial ecosystems for millennia and are natural and essential components of ecological systems. However, direct and indirect human activities during the Anthropocene have amplified disturbances globally. This amplification, coupled with increasingly unfavorable post-disturbance climatic conditions or ecosystem man...
Article
Climate-driven increases in disturbance frequency and extent augment the potential for compounded disturbances. Drawing on well-studied forests that experienced successive disturbances, we asked: (1) how does post-fire cover of litter, herbaceous cover and bare ground vary between stands affected by combinations of blow-down, insect outbreak, and f...
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Increasing evidence indicates that forest disturbances are changing in response to global change, yet local variability in disturbance remains high. We quantified this considerable variability and analyzed whether recent disturbance episodes around the globe were consistently driven by climate, and if human influence modulates patterns of forest di...
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Gravitational natural hazards such as snow avalanches, rockfalls, shallow landslides and volcanic activity represent a risk to mountain communities around the world. In particular, where documentary records about these processes are rare, decisions on risk management and land-use planning have to be based on a variety of other sources including veg...
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Over the past 30 years, forest disturbances have increased in size, intensity, and frequency globally, and are predicted to continue increasing due to climate change, potentially relaxing the constraints of vegetation properties on disturbance regimes. However, the consequences of the potentially declining importance of vegetation in determining fu...
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Determining the drivers of shifting forest disturbance rates remains a pressing global change issue. Large-scale forest dynamics are commonly assumed to be climate driven, but appropriately scaled disturbance histories are rarely available to assess how disturbance legacies alter subsequent disturbance rates and the climate sensitivity of disturban...
Chapter
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Dendroentochronology is the study of insect outbreaks as recorded in tree rings. This type of research has been going on in earnest since the 1950s but the number of publications has rapidly increased from the 1980s to the present. Most of the work has been completed in Canada and the United States with some important work in Europe and Asia. Insec...
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Gravitational natural hazards such as snow avalanches, rockfalls, shallow landslides and volcanic activity represent a risk factor for mountain communities around the world. In particular where documentary records about these processes are rare, decisions on risk management and land-use planning have to be based on a variety of other sources includ...
Article
Large-scale wind disturbances shape forest structure and composition and leave long lasting legacies. Adequate understanding of the role of disturbances in tropical stand dynamics is necessary to guide management efforts. In this study, we used field data to characterize the effects of a major hurricane in broadleaf and pine stands in Northern Nica...
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The ability to estimate and model future vegetation dynamics is a central focus of contemporary ecology and is essential for understanding future ecological trajectories. It is therefore critical to understand when the influence of initial post-disturbance regeneration versus stochastic processes dominates long-term post-disturbance ecological proc...
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The 20th century has been marked by dramatic changes in land-use, disturbance regimes, and climate, which have interacted to affect global ecological patterns and dynamics, including changes in the extent, composition, and structure of forest cover. Although much research has highlighted dramatic, short-term ecological change, ongoing trends of lan...
Article
Disturbances are among the most important processes that shape forest dynamics and landscapes. However the historic ranges of variability (HRV) of many coniferous forests in Europe and specifically in the mountains on the Balkan Peninsula are not well understood. We present the first overview of available data on disturbance events in coniferous fo...
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Forests in Europe and North America are being affected by large and severe outbreaks of bark beetles, which have caused widespread concern about forest health and have led to proposals for tree removal in affected or susceptible forests. Any such intervention, as well as broader decisions of whether any active interventions are appropriate, should...
Article
Tree susceptibility to potentially lethal agents is determined not only by attributes of individual trees, but also by neighborhood effects at a range of scales. For example, effects of disturbances on individual trees are often contingent on the size, configuration, and other properties of neighboring trees. Wildfires can modify postfire propertie...
Article
Mountain forests are among the most important ecosystems in Europe as they support numerous ecological, hydrological, climatic, social, and economic functions. They are unique relatively natural ecosystems consisting of long-lived species in an otherwise densely populated human landscape. Despite this, centuries of intensive forest management in ma...
Article
The frequency, magnitude, and size of forest disturbances are increasing globally. Much recent research has focused on how the occurrence of one disturbance may affect susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. While much has been learned about such linked disturbances, the strength of the interactions is likely to be contingent on the severity of...
Article
Extensive outbreaks of bark beetles have killed trees across millions of hectares of forests and woodlands in western North America. These outbreaks have led to spirited scientific, public, and policy debates about consequential increases in fire risk, especially in the wildland-urban interface (WUI), where homes and communities are at particular r...
Article
Climatic variability often is thought to be most important for ecosystem development at ecotones, while competition is thought to be most important farther from ecotones, where neighboring plants compete for scarce resources. However, climatic variability may also modulate consequences of competition, especially under recent and future climate chan...
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Treelines have long been recognized as important ecotones and likely harbingers of climate change. However, over the last century many treelines have been affected not only by global warming, but also by the interactions of climate, forest disturbance and the consequences of abrupt demographic and economic changes. Recent research has increasingly...
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The dynamics, structure, and landscape heterogeneity of the lodgepole pine and spruce-fir forests of the Rocky Mountains in the western United States are shaped by wildfires, outbreaks of insects, and the potential interactions between these disturbances. Outbreaks of bark beetles create habitat heterogeneity in forests that can benefit numerous wi...
Article
The risk of bark beetle outbreaks is widely predicted to increase because of a warming climate that accelerates temperature-driven beetle population growth and drought stress that impairs host tree defenses. However, few if any studies have explicitly evaluated climatically enhanced beetle population dynamics in relation to climate-driven changes i...
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Natural disturbances are among the most important factors that shape forest dynamics and forest landscapes. However, the natural disturbance regime of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) forests in Europe is not well understood. We studied the disturbance regimes in three forest reserves in Bulgaria (Parangalitsa, Bistrishko branishte, and Begl...
Article
Warmer conditions over the past two decades have contributed to rapid expansion of bark beetle outbreaks killing millions of trees over a large fraction of western United States (US) forests. These outbreaks reduce plant productivity by killing trees, and transfer carbon from live to dead pools where carbon is slowly emitted to the atmosphere via h...
Article
A subcontinental-scale outbreak of mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) has affected millions of hectares of forest in the western USA and Canada over the past 15 years. Little research has examined the long-term and broad-scale history of MPB outbreaks, which is necessary to provide a baseline for comparing current and future outbre...
Conference Paper
Insects and diseases, storms, wildfires, drought, or damages caused by wildlife affect to various extents different European forest areas. From an ecological perspective these influences are part of natural development cycles of forests thus playing key roles in forest ecosystem dynamics. Whereas in the human value system such impacts usually have...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) is a native bark beetle that has caused extensive tree mortality across North America over the past 30 years. These outbreaks have dramatically altered forest structure and composition across North America. Increasingly, managers, the public, and scientists are questioning th...
Article
This study examines influences of climate variability on spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak across northwestern Colorado during the period 1650 2011 CE. Periods of broad-scale outbreak reconstructed using documentary records and tree rings were dated to 1843-1860, 1882-1889, 1931-1957, and 2004-2010. Periods of outbreak were compared...
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Mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks in North America are widespread and have potentially persistent impacts on forest albedo and associated radiative forcing. This study utilized multiple data sets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains to quantify the full radiative forcing impact of outbre...
Article
Basing ecosystem management and conservation on the best available science is essential to meeting intended goals and minimizing surprises. To design effective, efficient, and equitable policies for the REDD+ initiatives, requires that drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are correctly identified, and that the ecological context of those...
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Mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks in North America are widespread and have potentially-persistent impacts on forest albedo and associated radiative forcing. This study utilized multiple datasets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains in order to quantify both the full radiative forcing imp...
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Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is the most widespread tree species in North America, and it is found throughout much of the Mountain West (MW) across a broad range of bioclimatic regions. Aspen typically regenerates asexually and prolifically after fire, and due to its seral status in many western conifer forests, aspen is often conside...
Article
Both fire and insect outbreaks are critical components of many forest ecosystems and understanding the two-way interactions between these disturbance types is an important goal for researchers, resource managers, and policy makers. Much recent research has focused on understanding the effects of outbreaks on subsequent fires, but the effects of fir...
Article
As the extent, magnitude and/or frequency of various forest disturbances are increasing due to climate change, it is becoming increasingly likely that forests may be affected by more than one type of disturbance in short succession. We studied how compounded disturbances and pre-fire composition influence post-fire tree regeneration. Specifically,...
Article
Full-text available
Appropriate response to recent, widespread bark beetle (Dendroctonus spp.) outbreaks in the western United States has been the subject of much debate in scientific and policy circles. Among the proposed responses have been landscape-level mechanical treatments to prevent the further spread of outbreaks and to reduce the fire risk that is believed t...
Article
Extensive beetle outbreaks across western North American forests have spurred debates about how to best protect communities from wildfire. Previous work has found that fuels in the wildland-urban interface and especially in the defensible space (40-m radius) around structures are the most important determinants of the flammability of structures dur...
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Understanding the causes and consequences of spatiotemporal structural development in forest ecosystems is an important goal of basic and applied ecological research. Most existing knowledge about the sequence and timing of distinct structural stages following stand origin in unmanaged (not actively managed in [50 years) forests has been derived fr...
Article
Aim As climate change is increasing the frequency, severity and extent of wildfire and bark beetle outbreaks, it is important to understand how these disturbances interact to affect ecological patterns and processes, including susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. Stand-replacing fires and outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (MPB), Dendroctonus...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Large infrequent disturbances are essential in dictating ecosystem structure and composition, which in turn may affect a forest’s susceptibility to subsequent disturbances. The major coarse-scale disturbances affecting spruce-fir forests in Colorado and Wyoming are wildfire and spruce beetle (SB; Dendroctonus rufipenni...
Article
Understanding the links between climatic variability and tree mortality is an important goal of current ecological research, but this relationship remains poorly understood for some widespread species such as quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.). Recent observations indicate a sudden onset and rapid progression of quaking aspen dieback in the...
Article
Outbreaks of bark beetles and drought both lead to concerns about increased fire risk, but the relative importance of these two factors is the subject of much debate. We examined how mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks and drought have contributed to the fire regime of lodgepole pine forests in northwestern Colorado and adjacent areas of southern...
Article
a b s t r a c t Correct knowledge of disturbance ecology is essential for understanding the characteristic behavior of forest ecosystems and for guiding appropriate management strategies. However, the role of natural dis-turbances in shaping European mountain forest ecosystems has not been adequately studied, possibly because of the perception that...
Article
Full-text available
In densely populated regions, forests can help protect communities and infrastructures from natural hazards such as avalanches and rockfall. To promote the protective function, substantial efforts are made to actively manage forest stands. In 2009 alone the Swiss government invested more than 60 million sfr for the maintenance of protection forests...
Article
As windstorm intensity increases above some threshold, disturbance spread and damage patterns are expected to be less strongly shaped by preblowdown forest composition and structure than by the pattern of the storm itself. We examined this generalization by analyzing differences in wind damage among tree species and stands following a severe blowdo...
Article
In the subalpine forests of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, research on disturbances that have occurred over the past several decades has shown that prior occurrence of disturbances can alter the extent and severity of subsequent disturbances. In the current study, we consider how fire history affected stand susceptibility to a mid-19th century spruc...
Article
This paper presents a three-stage methodology to mitigate uncertainty in forest lifeform classification using a case study in the mixed hardwood-conifer forest of Massachusetts, USA. First, two fuzzy membership surfaces representing the proportion of conifer and hardwood lifeform dominance were created using a supervised multilayer perceptron neura...
Article
Ecosystems are being modified by a multiplicity of interacting natural and anthropogenic factors. The most important of these factors include changes in land use, changes in climate, and alterations of disturbance regimes. Many studies have considered these factors separately; however, these factors do not act in isolation, but rather interact to a...
Article
We documented the occurrence of a 1934 blowdown in a subalpine forest in northwestern Colorado, USA. Prior to the blowdown, the stand was dominated by old-growth Picea engelmannii - Abies lasiocarpa forests. Although blowdowns are believed to trigger outbreaks of Dendroctonus rufipennis (spruce beetle), we found no detectable increase in beetle cau...
Article
Avalanche disturbances are important processes in many subalpine forest ecosystems but have received relatively little research attention in comparison to other major types of disturbances. This paper presents a review of interactions between forests and snow avalanches in mountain ecosystems and discusses how avalanche disturbance regimes and asso...
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This study investigates the influence of climatic variability on subalpine forest fire occurrence in western Colorado during the AD 1600-2003 period. Interannual and multidecadal relationships between fire occurrence and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) were exam...
Article
The regeneration of Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the western U.S. in some habitats occurs after severe fire which removes competing conifers and also triggers root suckering of aspen. Consequently, fire exclusion during the 20th century, sometimes in combination with elk browsing, has often been argued to have resulted in a decline in the...
Article
Background: Disturbances by avalanches have created unique habitats for animals and plants in subalpine ecosystems worldwide, but at the same time avalanches can pose a major threat to humans. Thus, avalanches are suppressed by means of avalanche barriers to protect settlements and infrastructures in populated areas of the European Alps. As a conse...