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Recent Publications

Previous reviews of wildfires where a fatal firefighter burnover occurred have found that the incidents usually share similar characteristics in terms of the fire environment, such as steep slopes and complex topography (e.g. box canyons). Despite these similarities, systematic identification and communication of the locations where these conditions prevail are rare.
We present a reconceptualization of forests in eastern North America by differentiating the ecological characteristics of open oak (Quercus) and pine (Pinus) forests from closed successional and oldgrowth forests. Despite historical abundance of savannas and woodlands, the fundamental ecology of open forest ecosystems remains ill-defined when compared to either closed forests or grasslands.
We examined the contribution of large trees to forest density, richness and biomass using a global network of 48 large (from 2 to 60 ha) forest plots representing 5,601,473 stems across 9,298 species and 210 plant families.
Forests are distributed across the spectrum of rural to urban environments, covering 896 million acres (including approximately 130 million acres in urban, suburban, and developed areas), or 33% of land in the contiguous United States, Alaska, and Hawai‘i.
Wildfires, insect outbreaks, and windstorms are increasingly common forest disturbances. Post-disturbance management often involves salvage logging, i.e., the felling and removal of the affected trees; however, this practice may represent an additional disturbance with effects on ecosystem processes and services.
We developed and applied a wildfire simulation package in the Envision agent-based landscape modelling system. The wildfire package combines statistical modelling of fire occurrence with a high-resolution, mechanistic wildfire spread model that can capture fine scale effects of fire feedbacks and fuel management, and replicate restoration strategies at scales that are meaningful to forest managers.
Despite advances in restoration of degraded lands around the world, native plants are still underutilized. Selection of appropriate plant materials is a critical factor in determining plant establishment and persistence.
Rocky Mountain red foxes Vulpes vulpes macroura potentially encounter other red fox Vulpes vulpes lineages at lower elevations, which may include nonindigenous red foxes derived from fur farms. Introgression from nonindigenous red foxes could have negative evolutionary consequences for the rare Rocky Mountain red fox subspecies.
Regional scale maps of homogeneous forest stands are valued by forest managers and are of interest for landscape and ecological modelling. Research focused on stand delineation has substantially increased in the last decade thanks to the development of Geographic Object Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA).
Insect outbreaks are major disturbances that affect a land area similar to that of forest fires across North America. The recent mountain pine bark beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak and its associated blue stain fungi (Grosmannia clavigera) are impacting water partitioning processes of forests in the Rocky Mountain region as the spatially heterogeneous disturbance spreads across the landscape.