Landscape Ecology

Jeffery B. Cannon

Jones Center Landscape Ecology Lab

The mission of the Jones Center Landscape Ecology Lab is to advance the science and practice of landscape ecology to inform the conservation and management of ecosystems in the Southeastern US and beyond. We achieve this by (1) conducting innovative, interdisciplinary research addressing pressing conservation challenges, (2) designing practical, evidence-based solutions that integrate ecology, community, and policy, and (3) fostering the development of skilled experts and leaders who drive positive change in conservation. We focus our efforts on three major goals:

  • Understand how hurricanes and fire shape forest structure and function
  • Improve conservation and management outcomes in longleaf pine forests.
  • Accelerate training and adoption of new technologies for addressing conservation issues

Read more about our research efforts, and see below for recent news from the Lab

 

News from the Landscape Ecology Lab

News

NAFEW: Hurricane Ecology and Management (Organized Session)

The Landscape Ecology lab will be hosting an organized session on Hurricane Ecology and Management at the 14th North American Forest Ecology Workshop (NAFEW) in Asheville, NC on June 24-27, 2024. Our organized session, titled “Hurricane ecology and management in tropical cyclone-prone forests of the US” will feature researchers working on the ecological effects of hurricanes and how to mitigate and measure hurricane risk and impacts to guide conservation efforts.

Read more »
left panel shows physical forces present for tree pulling experiment, and the right panel shows an uprooted tree
Research Article

New study: Precipitation can increase stability of some trees in wind storms

Root anchorage is one of the main drivers of tree stability in wind storms. Tree winching help to understand forces that tree can withstand. We compared stability of two pine species after wetting the soil and uncovered that wet soil can actually *increase* tree strength by add weight to the root mass. This experiment helped resolve a paradox of soil moisture by distinguish the opposite effects of long-term and short-term soil moisture.

Read more »
Forest hurricane regimes defined for North America
Research Article

PNAS: New study defines hurricane regimes for North American forests

Hurricanes are a chronic disturbance to many forests. but currently no study defines hurricane regimes for North America. This study uses hurricane models and long-term data to define four distinct hurricane regimes for the region, and discusses how hurricanes may be a useful lens for understanding the distribution of tree species and their traits.

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News

Now hiring: Mussel Conservation & Landscape Ecology Seasonal Technician

We are seeking applicants from motivated individuals for a Seasonal Research Technican to contribute to the development of a Habitat Conservation Plan for freshwater mussels. The successful applicant will assist with UAV stream surveys, use acoustic doppler on stream reaches, and conduct biological surveys for freshwater mussels. The position will work in a team setting, collaborating with the Jones Center Mussel Conservation and Landscape Ecology Research Teams. Applications reviewed immediately

Read more »
Post

Module 5: Speeding up your analyses: Reduced datasets

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you get started. You will learn ways to help speed up and super charge your LiDAR analyses. This tutorial covers how to create spatial indexes for loading reduced datasets, subsetting to smaller scenes, and creating lower density point clouds.

Read more »
Post

Module 4: Putting it all together: Asking ecological questions

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you get started. You will learn to extract data from lidar products like canopy size, tree locations, and elevation. You will also build a statistical model from lidar data to answer ecological questions

Read more »
Post

Module 3: Mapping trees from aerial LiDAR data

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you identify tree locations, segment trees and estimate tree size, and turn a lidar point cloud into a stem map!

Read more »
Post

Module 2: Creating raster products from point clouds

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you get started. You will learn to create raster products like digital elevation models and canopy height models. The tutorial also covers how to make your own custom functions to analyze LIDAR data.

Read more »
Post

Remote Pilot Certification study guide for natural resource professionals

Research in natural resources conservation is harnessing new technologies allowing inference at larger scales. Drone Pilot Certification can be an important step for natural resource professional, allowing them to collect extensive data on ecosystem structure, wildlife habitat, and other information. This study guide is designed to provide essential information to prepare for the FAA Remote Pilot Knowledge exam for natural resource professionals.

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Research Article

New study: Regeneration and microclimate patterns in a structurally diverse ponderosa pine forest

Forest restoration treatments in ponderosa pine forests of the western US emphasize creation and maintenance of complex forest spatial pattern. Patterns of canopy cover and light can alter microclimate and impact seedling germination and growth. We studied fine-scale abiotic conditions and seedling dynamics for 3 years in a dry conifer forests near Denver, Colorodo. We found that canopy cover was important for mitigating extreme conditions, but that survival of all species was greatest in warm dry microclimates.

Read more »
moderate damage to longleaf pine forest in southwest Georgia
Research Article

New study: Protecting planted longleaf pine from severe winds

Planted stands of longleaf pine contribute to landscape-scale restoration of the ecosystem and the imperiled species it harbors. Yet frequent severe winds from hurricanes occur throughout its range. We surveyed planted stands of longleaf pine in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. We found that damage increased with forest fragmentation and stands with increased taper were most resistant

Read more »
Research Article

Can off-site native pines accelerate longleaf pine restoration?

Meeting the pace and scale of longleaf pine restoration may require innovative solutions. Restoration of longleaf pine woodlands often starts with removal of native pines, prior to re-establishing longleaf pine. Here, we review functional similarities among native, off-site pines such as loblolly, slash, and shortleaf have enough functional similarity. We found that native-off site species may be a useful tool for providing many of the ecological benefits especially if their retention permits unterrupted management with fire and open structure.

Read more »
Post

Pollen shedding countdown for longleaf pine

Longleaf pine pollen shedding is highly predictable based on temperature. Thanks to the diligent work of USDA Forest Service Scientist, Dr. BIll Boyer, check in daily as we track the anticipated date of peak pollen shedding in Georgia, and read about how Boyer made this discovery.

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News

MS opportunity: Disturbance interactions and tree mortality

The Landscape Ecology lab is teaming up with Dr. Timothy Shearman from Auburn University to recruit a motivated MS student to study how repeated prescribed fire influences mortality from hurricanes. Applications are due by March 1, 2024! Classwork will be completed at Auburn and fieldwork completed at the Jones Center at Ichauway. Please share this unique opportunity widely!

Read more »
An aerial view of rows and rows of damaged pecan and toppled pecan trees
News

New grant aims to mitigate hurricane risk to pecan orchards

In a new grant funded by the Natural Resources Conservation service, the Landscape Ecology lab will collaborate with UGA pecan expert Dr. Lenny Wells to address concerns of pecan growers state-wide. Following widespread hurricane damage in the region, this project aims to understand the major drivers of hurricane damage, and make recommendations for hurricane preparedness.

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longleaf pine cones
Research Article

New study: Hurricanes boost reproduction in longleaf pine

Using long-term records of longleaf pine cone production, hurricane tracks, and weather data, a new study has uncovered that hurricanes can boost cone production for two years in the masting species, longleaf pine. The study was led by the Jones Center and the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station and published in the journal New Phytologist.

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longleaf pine and slash pine trees toppled by hurricane michael
Research Article

New study: Patterns of hurricane gaps in a longleaf pine landscape

Ecological approaches to forestry seek to emulate aspects of natural disturbances like hurricanes which are a common disturbance in longleaf pine forets. This study used airborne lidar to measure patterns of hurricane-created gaps to offer guidance for application of natural disturbance-based management in landscapes dominated by longleaf pine.

Read more »

News from the Landscape Ecology Lab

News

NAFEW: Hurricane Ecology and Management (Organized Session)

The Landscape Ecology lab will be hosting an organized session on Hurricane Ecology and Management at the 14th North American Forest Ecology Workshop (NAFEW) in Asheville, NC on June 24-27, 2024. Our organized session, titled “Hurricane ecology and management in tropical cyclone-prone forests of the US” will feature researchers working on the ecological effects of hurricanes and how to mitigate and measure hurricane risk and impacts to guide conservation efforts.

Read More »
left panel shows physical forces present for tree pulling experiment, and the right panel shows an uprooted tree
Research Article

New study: Precipitation can increase stability of some trees in wind storms

Root anchorage is one of the main drivers of tree stability in wind storms. Tree winching help to understand forces that tree can withstand. We compared stability of two pine species after wetting the soil and uncovered that wet soil can actually *increase* tree strength by add weight to the root mass. This experiment helped resolve a paradox of soil moisture by distinguish the opposite effects of long-term and short-term soil moisture.

Read More »
News

Now hiring: Mussel Conservation & Landscape Ecology Seasonal Technician

We are seeking applicants from motivated individuals for a Seasonal Research Technican to contribute to the development of a Habitat Conservation Plan for freshwater mussels. The successful applicant will assist with UAV stream surveys, use acoustic doppler on stream reaches, and conduct biological surveys for freshwater mussels. The position will work in a team setting, collaborating with the Jones Center Mussel Conservation and Landscape Ecology Research Teams. Applications reviewed immediately

Read More »
Post

Module 5: Speeding up your analyses: Reduced datasets

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you get started. You will learn ways to help speed up and super charge your LiDAR analyses. This tutorial covers how to create spatial indexes for loading reduced datasets, subsetting to smaller scenes, and creating lower density point clouds.

Read More »
Post

Module 4: Putting it all together: Asking ecological questions

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you get started. You will learn to extract data from lidar products like canopy size, tree locations, and elevation. You will also build a statistical model from lidar data to answer ecological questions

Read More »
Post

Module 3: Mapping trees from aerial LiDAR data

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you identify tree locations, segment trees and estimate tree size, and turn a lidar point cloud into a stem map!

Read More »
Post

Module 2: Creating raster products from point clouds

If you are interested in learning to use LiDAR for forestry and natural resources, this tutorial can help you get started. You will learn to create raster products like digital elevation models and canopy height models. The tutorial also covers how to make your own custom functions to analyze LIDAR data.

Read More »