Wildfire and tree population dynamics in the boreal forest of North America

In the last decade or so there has been a change in forest management and silviculture in North America from a focus on wood fiber to include other products and services of the forest. This has required a rethinking of forest management. One of the several goals of this rethinking has been to incorporate an understanding of natural disturbance. In this talk Edward Johnson will examine our understanding of how tree population dynamics might be regulated by wildfire disturbances.

Edward A. Johnson is Faculty Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biological Sciences, Director of the Biogeoscience Institute at the University of Calgary, and previously the G8 Legacy Chair in Ecology. His research interests are biogeosciences, particularly the coupling of physical processes to ecological processes, specifically natural disturbances. He has done fieldwork in Australia, Canada, Belize, Sri Lanka, and the United States. He has published extensively in refereed scientific journals and has four books: Fire and Vegetation Dynamics (Cambridge University Press) and Forest Fires: Behavior and Ecological Effects (Academic Press), Ecological Education and Environmental Advocacy (Cambridge University Press) and Physical and Ecological Processes in Natural Disturbances (Elsevier Press). For 17 years, he was been part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Network of Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Forest Management. In 1986, he received the William S. Cooper Award of the Ecological Society of America for research on wildfire effects on boreal forest dynamics and in 2012 was made a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Five of his students have also received Award from the E.S.A. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of New South Wales (Australia), Guelph, Wisconsin, California-Berkeley and a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University. He is presently the Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America and member of PAGSE of the Royal Society of Canada.