Vegetation Dynamics Lab

Research in the Vegetation Dynamics Lab is focused on identifying the causes and consequences of vegetation change in ecological communities from both a theoretical and applied perspective. We work mainly in forested ecosystems where fire is a predominant disturbance agent. Particular interests include:

  • the role of natural and human caused disturbance in driving vegetation change and maintaining species diversity;
  • disturbance interactions and how they constrain or promote future change;
  • climate-disturbance interactions;
  • disturbance and forest stand population dynamics;
  • forest structure, fire behavior, and fire effects; and
  • ecological restoration.

Check out this video from the Penn State news site:

Faculty and graduate students in the laboratory usually collaborate closely with natural resource agencies in executing their research.

The laboratory is fully equipped, and LEAPS and Riparia also share facilities, providing a wide array of additional instrumentation to support research.

The director is Alan Taylor.



snowy mountains

Amanda Young spent summer 2012, 2013, and 2014 in Japan conducting research on an East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI) Fellowship. She examined the processes driving the establishment and maintenance of treelines of angiosperms or gymnosperms and how they each differ from the adjacent mixed sub-alpine (angiosperm-gymnosperm) forest. 

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 Visit the previous version of the Vegetation Dynamics Lab web site