October 17, 2017 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Dave MacFarlane from the Department of Forestry at MSU presents "Expanding frontiers in forest measurements and modeling."
Global trends show continued human population growth, especially in cities, fragmentation of forests, and climate change, meaning that forestry is playing out in more complex landscapes and volatile environments than ever before. As a result, forest measurement and modeling science has had to evolve to meet changes in society’s views and valuations of trees and forests and concomitant changes forestry research and policy-making. Here, I describe a series of research endeavors that have contributed to expanding frontiers in forest measurements and modeling. The major focus of this research is improving the technological capacity to measure tree and forest attributes at local, regional and national scales, with a special emphasis on linking timber and carbon stock estimation processes, using improved models of trees. The modeling framework considers forests as part of a continuum of ‘treed space’ from areas with isolated trees, to areas with enough trees to be recognized as forests. An important underlying theme in this research is the need to study trees, parts of trees, and forests of diverse types to obtain a comprehensive picture of the natural range of variation in tree and forest attributes. I emphasize the need for universal ‘whole-tree’ models, which capture plasticity in form and function, and demonstrate that understanding the complexity of the fractal-like branching architecture of trees is fundamental to better models of the stem and all other parts of the tree. New research to obtain diverse tree data non-destructively is also discussed.
Natural Resources Building, Room 225Get Directions