Disturbances are normal processes and southern forests are adapted to disturbance from fire, wind, ice, drought, and endemic pests. Human activity, including fire exclusion, fragmentation and urban development, introduction of exotic species, and forest management for goods and services, has introduced novel disturbances or altered the spatial and temporal nature of “natural” disturbances. Understanding disturbance processes and effects and the response of forest ecosystems to single disturbance events as well as multiple interacting disturbances, provides the scientific basis for sustainable forest management.
Understanding disturbance mechanisms/processes and their impact on forest ecosystems (abiotic: severe weather, wildland fire and fire exclusion, and climate change/variability, biotic: invasive species, and anthropogenic: fragmentation)
Understanding ecosystem response to disturbance processes.
Understanding interaction and impacts of multiple disturbances and feedback mechanisms.
Center for Forest Disturbance Science (SRS RWU 4156)
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
Athens, GA 30602
Clemson, SC 29634