University of Vermont

  • environmental leaders

    "I learned that science can provide you with the outdoor adventure of a lifetime." — Ryan Sleeper

    Ryan SleeperEnvironmental sciences major, graduate student in natural resources, field research in Alaska, job with environmental consulting company. More about Ryan

  • environmental leaders

    "Here is a cool new technology for me to jump into that combines geography, natural resources, and information technology!" — Maya Thomas

    Maya ThomasEnvironmental sciences major, GIS minor, research internships, GIS specialist with consulting firm. More about Maya

  • environmental leaders

    "The hands-on learning approach allowed me to integrate classroom learning with real life experience." — Alex Marcucci

    Alex MarcucciEnvironmental sciences major, watershed steward & restoration intern, valued service-learning courses, environmental scientist with consulting firm. More about Alex

  • environmental leaders

    "I wanted to learn about how forest ecosystems work and find a job where I could be outside and do something meaningful."— Eric Donnelly

    Eric DonnellyForestry major, research project at UVM forest, forestry technician protecting society's forest-based natural resources long-term. More about Eric

  • environmental leaders

    "I knew I would be surrounded by individuals who shared many of the same passions."— Carson Casey

    Carson Casey Natural resources major, student government, research on clean energy for Vermont legislature, study abroad in Tanzania, job in renewable energy education. More about Carson

  • environmental leaders

    "I wanted to become more fluent in the natural history of the region and gain the skills needed to get my students learning outside." — Ryan Morra

    Ryan MorraMaster's degree in natural resources, project in Puerto Rico, professional development programs in sustainability for educators. More about Ryan

The Rubenstein School offers exciting, hands-on environmental programs that integrate natural sciences and social perspectives. Our small, close-knit community challenges students to discover knowledge, skills, and values to become innovative, environmentally-responsible leaders. More about our School | More about studying the environment at UVM

Academic Programs

 Undergraduate Majors
 Undergraduate Minors
  • Environmental Studies
  • Forestry
  • Geospatial Technologies
  • Parks, Recreation and Tourism
  • Wildlife Biology
 Graduate Degrees, Concentrations & Certificates



Monday September 7, 2015
Tuesday September 8, 2015
12:05 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. + UVM Staff Council meeting
Davis Center, Livak Ballroom
Wednesday September 9, 2015
Long-term forest structural development and carbon dynamics as influenced by land-use history and reforestation pathway

By Andrea R. Urbano

Seminar: 9:30 am, Aiken 103
Defense: 10:30 am, Aiken 103

William S. Keeton, Ph.D., Professor, RSENR, Advisor
Stephanie E. Hurley, DDes, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Chair
Carol E. Adair, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, RSENR

Temperate forests are an important carbon sink, yet there is uncertainty regarding land-use history effects on biomass accumulation potential in secondary forests. Understanding long-term biomass dynamics is important for managing forests as carbon sinks and for co-benefits such as watershed protection and biodiversity. To improve this understanding, we employed a longitudinal study based on twelve years of empirical data (2001-2013) collected from 60 permanent monitoring plots within 16 reference stands at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, VT. This research evaluates the long-term effects of reforestation approaches (planting vs. natural regeneration) and management history (low harvest intensities at varied frequencies) on biomass outcomes. We generated biometrics indicative of stand structural complexity, including the H’ index, and aboveground biomass (live trees, snags, and downed coarse woody debris pools) estimates. Multivariate analyses evaluated the relative predictive strength of reforestation approach, management history, and site characteristics for carbon pools and structural complexity indicators.

Classification and Regression Tree analysis ranked reforestation method as the strongest predictor of long-term mean total aboveground carbon storage, while harvest frequency, and stand age were selected as secondary variables. Forest percent conifer was the strongest predictor of H’ index, while harvest intensity and frequency were secondary variables. Our results suggest that a variety of long-term recovery pathways converge on high levels of aboveground carbon storage, but choice of silvicultural management can dramatically alter those trajectories. Total aboveground biomass co-varied with H’ (R2 = 0.25). Thus, our dataset had a positive relationship between forest carbon storage and structural complexity, supporting the concept of multifunctional forestry emphasizing late-successional habitats.

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