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Landscape modeling workshop explores potential to blend approaches to projecting forest change

October 24, 2022
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Researchers stand in front of Shaler Hall

On October 19 and 20, 2022, Harvard Forest hosted a landscape modeling workshop centered on the LANDIS model. LANDIS - short for LAndscape DIsturbance and Succession - is a model that has been widely applied by Harvard Forest in the context of future forest conditions, alternative future scenarios, carbon storage, and other pressing policy issues for the state of Massachusetts and New England more broadly.

The workshop was organized by US Forest Service Research Ecologist and Bullard Fellow, Brian Sturtevant, and included both US Forest Service and university scientists from across New England, Wisconsin, and Missouri.  The goal of the meeting was to explore the potential to blend two very different approaches to projecting forest change – one based on the first principles of ecophysiology, and the second based on size-density relationships emerging from forestry and applied silviculture.

Consensus emerged that there was opportunity to leverage the strengths of each approach while addressing their individual weaknesses, and the group is now pursuing a pathway of model development that will blend the two approaches.  The workshop culminated in the Harvard Forest Lab Meeting presentation “Projecting forest landscapes into the Anthropocene: Blending two paradigms in forest ecology”.

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