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International Journal of Forestry Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 964260, 11 pages
Review Article

Emerging Themes in the Ecology and Management of North American Forests

1Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
2Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
3Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
4Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, Saint. Paul, MN 55108, USA
5BC Ministry of Forests and Range, Prince, George, BC, Canada V2L 3H9
6Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA
7Cloquet Forestry Center, University of Minnesota, Cloquet, MN 55720, USA
8USDA Forest Service (retired), Box 482, Emigrant, MT 59027, USA
9Center for Forest Disturbance Science, USDA Forest Service, Athens, GA 30602, USA
10Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, USA
11Department of Forestry, Mississippi State University, MS 39762, USA
12Western Aspen Alliance, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
13U.S. Geological Survey, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Boise, ID 83706, USA
14Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR 97730, USA
15School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire 5T5 5BG, UK
16Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Saint. Paul, MN 55108, USA
17Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, LaGrande, OR 97850, USA

Received 26 July 2009; Revised 18 November 2009; Accepted 10 December 2009

Academic Editor: Hamish Kimmins

Copyright © 2010 Terry L. Sharik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The 7th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, consisting of 149 presentations in 16 oral sessions and a poster session, reflected a broad range of topical areas currently under investigation in forest ecology and management. There was an overarching emphasis on the role of disturbance, both natural and anthropogenic, in the dynamics of forest ecosystems, and the recognition that legacies from past disturbances strongly influence future trajectories. Climate was invoked as a major driver of ecosystem change. An emphasis was placed on application of research findings for predicting system responses to changing forest management initiatives. Several “needs” emerged from the discussions regarding approaches to the study of forest ecosystems, including (1) consideration of variable spatial and temporal scales, (2) long-term monitoring, (3) development of universal databases more encompassing of time and space to facilitate meta-analyses, (4) combining field studies and modeling approaches, (5) standardizing methods of measurement and assessment, (6) guarding against oversimplification or overgeneralization from limited site-specific results, (7) greater emphasis on plant-animal interactions, and (8) better alignment of needs and communication of results between researchers and managers.