Tree-Ring Talk

Tree-ring data in collaborative forest management

Public land management agencies in the US have been shifting from top-down, command-and-control governance to models based on collaborative input from a variety of stakeholders. Stakeholder collaborative groups increasingly help define and prioritize land management policy and direction, assist in project implementation, and provide learning through adaptive monitoring efforts. Collaborative governance is increasingly seen as a means to build greater and more robust adaptive capacity of social, economic, and ecological systems, especially in the face of future impacts on ecosystems from climate change, increasingly severe wildfires and other disturbances, and human land use. In this talk, I outline how evidence of historical ranges of variability in fire and forest histories derived largely from dendroecological data sets have provided a crucial scientific foundation for collaborative governance in forests of the Front Range in Colorado. These efforts are directed primarily at reducing the ecological and social impacts of wildfires in montane forests where much of the wildland-urban interface is found, and that was historically characterized by frequent, low-intensity wildfires. I also provide examples from Mongolia and China of how models for collaborative governance based on dendroecological data are starting to be used within the context of current social, ecological, and economic realities.

Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought

Over the past two decades much of western North America experienced persistent drought with little to no respite. Consequences were widespread, including declines in river flow and reservoir storage, over-extraction of ground water, explosion of forest-fire activity, and massive bark beetle outbreaks. Water-balance calculations make clear that 2000–2018 was easily the driest 19-year period in the past century. To what degree if at all is human-caused climate change responsible and what is the future trajectory of water supply in western North America?

Woody Species Responses to Extreme Living Conditions: An ongoing PhD story

Woody species distributions and health status strongly depend on their capacity to cope with variable environmental conditions. Such environmental conditions can be, or might become, extreme both in terms of long-term environmental setting (e.g., at the species distribution limit) and short-term events (e.g., drought). My PhD research aims to provide insights on woody species responses to extreme conditions, linking dendrochronology, dendroanatomy and ecophysiology.

Interpreting tree ring records using a plant ecophysiological approach

Trees' rings record a wealth of information on climate, disturbance, and forest dynamics, and can record these processes from the plot to regional to global scales. However, extracting plant physiological processes from the tree ring record has proved to be more difficult, as integration of leaf to whole tree processes can often lead to confounding results. My research aims to bring a plant ecophysiological perspective to interpreting the tree ring isotopic record and to ask, what processes are the rings actually recording?

Subscribe to Tree-Ring Talk