RMA Homepage » Research Topics » Disturbance


Tree damagesMajor disturbance agents and stressors such as insects, diseases, invasive plant species, air pollution, and fire are among the most powerful influences on the structure, species composition, and ecological function of forests.

Disturbance can have both detrimental and beneficial effects on forest ecosystems. The frequency and severity of damage by biotic agents, such as insects or diseases, or abiotic agents, such as fire or weather, are influenced by a number of factors, ranging from the existing composition and structure of the forest to management policies and activities.

Recent Publications



  • Fire

    Researchers are working on improving predictions of wildfire severity from stand structure and composition and fire weather conditions.

    Management to reduce fire hazards and potential availability of biomass for wood products and energy production given management objectives and constraints.

  • Insects and disease

    Effects of insect outbreaks and diseases on forest characteristics and species health.

    Tree damages.

  • Invasive species

    Invasive plant distribution and abundance and associations with forest conditions and history.

  • Air pollution

    Predicting impacts from nitrogen pollution on forests through lichen monitoring.

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