Past Forest Dynamics


Trees are long-lived and can survive for hundreds of years. This means that response to environmental variability and change, including changes in climate, can take decades to centuries to manifest in forest ecosystems. Since a time machine into the future doesn’t exist, we often use historical and paleoecological data to learn about how and why forests changed in the past. We use approaches such as tree rings and ecosystem modeling to act as time machines and describe how past climate change influenced tree growth and forest dynamics.

Related Projects

2019: Establishing a historical baseline for modern forest vulnerability in Illinois; Center for Tree Science, The Morton Arboretum (PI: M.R. Alexander)

2013-2018: Paleo-Ecological Observatory Network (PalEON Project); National Science Foundation, Macrosystems Biology (Postdoc 2014-2016; PI: Jason McLachlan)