USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service



Robert Pattison

Robert Pattison


Resource Monitoring and Assessment/Forest Inventory and Analysis


Research Ecologist


Anchorage Forestry Sciences Laboratory

3301 C Street. Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99503





Jump to Publications



  • Ph.D. Botany, Washington State University, 2003
  • M.S. Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1997
  • B.S Biology, University of Oregon, 1991

Current Research

Using FIA data (current inventory and past inventories) to understand the patterns and trends in Alaska’s forest. Examining the constraints on the ability of Alaskan tree species to migrate in response to climate change.


Future Research

Using FIA data (current inventory and past inventories) to understand the patterns and trends in Alaska’s forest. Combining field and remote sensing data to understand vegetation patterns in Alaska. Developing strategies to improve insights into carbon dynamics.


Past Research

Interpreting relationships between normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and shrub expansion in the Arctic tundra, (in progress). Understanding the influence of warming and snow addition on leaf nitrogen and 13C for arctic plants (in progress). Studying the impacts of a biological control agent on an invasive tree’s physiology, growth, water use, and litter dynamics in the Western United States. Determining the constraints on the spread of an invasive species at local and regional scales in the Southeastern United States. Examining physiological differences between native and invasive species in Hawaii. Surveying for invasive plants and feral pig presence in Hawaii’s natural area reserves. Developing monitoring protocols to access invasive species presence in natural area reserves in Hawaii.

Why This Research is Important

Much of my work to date has focused on invasive species--in particular understanding the factors contributing to their success and towards defining their distributions. This is important because invasives are among the most important threats to ecosystems and the services they provide. This is true as much or more in the Pacific Islands as elsewhere. Understanding the factors that define an invader’s distribution can provide information necessary to prevent and control spread. Biological control can be an effective means to reduce the impacts and spread of an invasive species. However the effects of biological control on target organisms are often not well studied. I have worked to determine the effectiveness of biological control agents both on the performance and growth of the target organism and on the effects that the target invader has on invaded ecosystems. More recently I have been involved in understanding how warming affects tundra plants in arctic ecosystems. This work is important because it provides insights into how warming is likely to affect arctic plant community structure and composition.


Featured Publications

Bullet.Pattison, R.R.; Jorgenson J.C.; Raynolds M.K.; Welker, J.M. 2015. Trends in NDVI and tundra community composition in the Arctic of NE Alaska between 1988 and 2009. Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-015-9858-9.


Bullet.Pattison R.R.; Welker, J.M. 2014. Differential ecophysiological response of deciduous shrubs and a graminoid to long-term experimental snow reductions and additions in moist acidic tundra, Northern Alaska. Oecologia. 174: 339-350.


Bullet.Dudley, T.L., Bean, D.W., Pattison, RR., Caires, A. 2012. Selectivity of a biological control agent, Diorhabda carinulata Desbrochers, 1870 (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) for host species within the genus Tamarix Linneaus, 1753. Pan-Pacific Entomologist. 88(3): 319-341.


Bullet.Pattison, R.R.; D’Antonio, C.M.; Dudley, T.L.; Allander, K.; Rice, B. 2011. Early impacts of biological control on canopy cover and water use of the invasive saltcedar tree (Tamarix spp.) in western Nevada, USA. Oecologia. 165: 605-616.

Bullet.Pattison, R.R.; D’Antonio, C.M.; Dudley, T.L. 2011. Biological control reduces growth, and alters water relations of the saltcedar tree (Tamarix spp.) in western Nevada, USA. Journal of Arid Environments. 75: 346-352.

Bullet.Pattison, R.R.; Mack, R.N. 2009. Environmental constraints on the invasion of Triadica sebifera in the Eastern U.S.: an experimental field assessment. Oecologia. 158: 591-602.

Bullet.Pattison, R.R.; Mack, R.N. 2008. Potential distribution of the invasive Triadica sebifera in the United States: evaluating CLIMEX predictions with field trials. Global Change Biology. 14: 813-826.

Bullet.Hudgeons, J.; Knutson, A.; Heinz, K.; DeLoach, J.; Dudley, T.; Pattison, R.R.; Kiniry, J. 2007. Defoliation by introduced Diorhabda elongata leaf beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) reduces carbohydrate reserves and regrowth of Tamarix (Tamaricaceae). Biological Control. 43: 213-221.

Bullet.Baruch, Z.; Pattison, R.R.; Goldstein, G. 2000. Responses to light and water availability of four invasive Melastomataceae in the Hawaiian Islands. International Journal of Plant Sciences. 161(1): 107-118.

Bullet.Pattison, R.R.; Goldstein, G.; Ares, A. 1998. Growth, biomass allocation and photosynthesis of invasive and native rainforest species. Oecologia. 117: 449-459.

Bullet.Kitayama, K.; Pattison, R.R.; Cordell, S.; Webb, D.; Mueller-Dombois, D. 1997. Ecological and genetic implications of foliar polymorphism in Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud. (Myrtaceae) in a habitat matrix on Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Annals of Botany. 80: 491-497.

Bullet.Pattison, R.R. 1996. Long-term management plan for the Mount Kaala Natural Area Reserve. Cooperative National Park Resources Unit, Hawaii.

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Wednesday,15April2015 at09:30:42CDT

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