Klaus J. Puettmann
How can we design silvicultural practices that accommodate the variety of ecosystem functions and processes as well as the variety of management objectives? As management options become more limited, what can we do to ensure that forests are resilient and adaptable to changing environmental and biological conditions? What are the tradeoffs in terms of short- and long-term productivity when we emphasize resilience and adaptability? How can we quantify these tradeoffs? What flies are they biting on?
These are questions that intrigue me. My colleagues Dave Coates, Christian Messier and I suggest that managing forests as complex adaptive systems may be helpful in this context (see A Critique of Silviculture).
A closer look at complexity science provides opportunities to learn new ideas and approaches for managing forest ecosystems (see Managing Forests as Complex Adaptive Systems). But there is still much to be learned, especially in terms of management applications of these concepts, and I have initiated a research program that investigates these questions.
My recent and future work in this context deals with trying to develop silvicultural treatments that maintain or encourage ecosystem resilience and adaptability, while providing income, timber, wildlife habitat, clean water, and other goods. I believe much can be gained from linking the theories of complex adaptive systems to practical applications used by several silvicultural approaches, such as variable retention cutting, close-to-nature or continuous-cover silviculture, and other approaches that fall under the label ecosystem management.
I am involved in various experimental studies that investigate aspects related to the issues listed above. For example, the Young Plantation Study monitors development of vegetation and wildlife use in gaps in very young Douglas-fir stands on Oregon Department of Forestry land. Due to funding limitations, it is currently dormant, but the studies are installed and ready to be measured again soon.
The Young Stand Thinning and Diversity Study (initiated by the Willamette National Forest) and the Density Management Study (initiated by the Bureau of Land Management) investigate impacts of various thinning regimes in 30 to 70-year old Douglas-fir stands. I am especially interested in stand structural development and plant diversity and composition as it relates to ecosystem resilience and adaptability. Other interests include the spatial scale of interactions and gap influences. I am cooperating with other scientists to determine how changes in stand structure influence ecosystem function and processes, including microclimate (Paul Anderson), amphibian (Adrian Ares, Dede Olson) and songbird habitat (Joan Hagar, Matt Betts), and other resources.
It is a privilege to be working on the "cutting edge", to be involved in a powerful set of experiments, and to work with fine colleagues and students. Together we strive to make contributions to forest science that will help forest managers and the public to make informed decisions about forest management.
Contact Information321 Richardson Hall
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
Corvallis, OR 97331
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CoursesFS 533 Fundamentals of Silviculture (not taught at this time)
FS 543 Advanced Silviculture: Managing forest as complex adaptive system
FOR441 Silviculture Principles
SNR 531 Sustainable Silviculture and Forest Certification
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Current ResearchYoung Stand Thinning and Diversity Study (10-year data summary pdf)
Density Management Study
Young Stand Management Project
Data collection protocol
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Austin Himes, PhD student
Past StudentsOregon State University
Anthony D'Amato, MS 2000-2002
Liane Beggs, MS 2002-2004
Robert Fahey, MS 2004-2006
Matthew Kluber, MS 2004-2007
Cheryl Bright, MF 2005-2007
Lori Kayes, PhD 2004-2009
Andy Neill, MS 2009-2012
Sveta Yegorova, MS 2009-2012
Kenny Ruzicka, PhD 2010-2014
Bryn Morgan, M.F. 2014-2016
Julian Geisel, M.S. 2014-2017
John Punches, PhD 2003-2017
Daniel Soto, PhD 2013-2017
University of Minnesota
Meredith Cornett, MS 1993-1996/PhD 1996-2000
Alaina (Davis) Berger, MS 1994-1997
Erica (Johnson) Hahn, MS (Plan B) 1996-1997
Jada Jackson, MS (Plan B) 1996-1998
Michael Saunders, MS 1994-1998
Michael Counte, MS 1997-2000
Dominic Ackerman, MS (Plan B) 1995-2001
Melissa Arikian, MS 1997-2001
Bruce Moreira, MS (Plan B) 1999-2001
Jerry Krueger, PhD 1999-2002
Darren Blackford, MS 2000-2006
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EmploymentNo job openings at this time.
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