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WN@tL: The Uncertain Future of Yellowstone in a Warmer World with More Fire
October 9, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Speaker: Monica Turner
Speaker Bio: Dr. Monica G. Turner is the Eugene P. Odum Professor of Ecology and a Vilas Research Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has studied fire, vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, bark beetle outbreaks, and climate change in Greater Yellowstone for 30 years, including long-term research on the 1988 Yellowstone fires. She also studies abrupt change in ecological systems, land-water interactions in Wisconsin landscapes, and spatial dynamics of ecosystem services. She has published ~ 275 scientific papers; authored or edited six books, including a 2nd edition of LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY IN THEORY AND PRACTICE; and is co-editor in chief of ECOSYSTEMS. Turner is a past-president of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), a recipient of ESA’s Robert H. MacArthur Award, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She earned her BS in Biology from Fordham University (Bronx, NY) and her PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia (Athens, GA).
Description: Greater Yellowstone–one of the world’s most iconic and beloved landscapes–faces an uncertain future. Fire is a natural process that has shaped the landscape for thousands of years, and the native species are well adapted to large, severe forest fires. However, climate warming is increasing fire activity and starting to transform forests throughout the world. Yellowstone will look different in the decades ahead, but how, when and why will it change?
Links: (1) Article that I wrote for THE CONVERSATION: https://theconversation.com/heres-how-forests-rebounded-from-yellowstones-epic-1988-fires-and-why-that-could-be-harder-in-the-future-101495
(2) “Fires in the West may be changing the future of forests”:
(3) Recent UW News releases that are relevant
General issues of abrupt change in ecological systems: https://news.wisc.edu/all-hands-on-deck-to-understand-predict-prevent-abrupt-ecological-change/
Field studies on postfire tree regeneration in Yellowstone: https://news.wisc.edu/with-fire-warming-and-drought-yellowstone-forests-could-be-grassland-by-mid-century/
Young forests starting to reburn: https://news.wisc.edu/resilience-of-yellowstones-forests-tested-by-unprecedented-fire/