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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

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Forest Disturbance Processes

Market-induced Changes to Forests

The shift to a global economy touches America's forests. Some U.S. wood products may be less economical in a global market, changing the tree size or species harvested from the forest. International shipment of lumber, pallets, and other wood products introduces diseases and insects to which North American species have little resistance. Northern Research Station scientists are working to understand what world economies mean for U.S. forests and how forest managers can best respond to those challenges.

Selected Research Studies

[photo:] Six- to seven-year-old poplar grown for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts.Biofuels, Bioenergy, and Bioproducts from Short Rotation Woody Crops
We are testing the genetics, physiology, and silviculture of poplar crops. Specific areas of interest include quantitative genetic analyses of biomass, rooting, and other important traits from hundreds of genotypes grown throughout the North Central United States, as well as analyses of tree growth regulating mechanisms in the face of varying environments and changing climate. Our silviculture research includes a range of studies from vegetation management to yield trials.


[photo:] Poplar energy crops near the end of a rotation.Comprehensive Database of North American Poplar Research Published from 1989 to 2011
In addition to compiling the information into one interactive location, our objectives are to encourage publication in peer-reviewed journals and to enhance collaborations with partners outside the poplar community. The constraints of the database include: only peer-reviewed manuscripts that are focused on poplars, cottonwoods, aspens, and their hybrids grown as short rotation woody crops, research conducted in North America, and at least one topic area.


Photo The Working Forest Initiative: Simulating the cumulative effects of the forest management strategies of multiple landowners on landscape pattern and biodiversity
Sustainable forestry involves the extraction of forest products while maintaining ecosystem integrity to conserve biodiversity and to provide other non-commodity benefits to society.  Population viability is a function of the combined actions of multiple landowners, which create a dynamic mosaic of forest types, stand structures and age distributions.  Consequently, it is necessary to understand how the actions of individual land owners interact with the actions of others to determine the spatial pattern of the landscape mosaic, and therefore its ability to maintain biodiversity. 

Last Modified: 10/09/2015