Ecological Silviculture

Joshua Puhlick


The Ecological Silviculture Lab conducts research using data from long-term monitoring efforts, singular field projects, and model simulations. Many of our long-term projects are internally funded through the Jones Center programs. We also seek external funding from a variety of sources for projects related to The Jones Center Mission.

Research Areas

Carbon Accumulation

We are quantifying carbon stocks in stands dominated by longleaf pine by various tree size and age classes. Among these size and age classes, we are examining how carbon accumulation can be enhanced using various silvicultural treatments. Examples include mechanical treatments of trees in the small and large sapling size classes to enhance carbon accumulation in residual trees. We are also quantifying the attributes of individual sawlog-sized live trees that have high levels of carbon accumulation and/or are transferring large amounts of carbon to dead wood pools.

Stand Dynamics

We are evaluating stand dynamics in stands managed using various silvicultural strategies, such as the Stoddard-Neel Approach. Our research questions include: Are there are deficits in specific tree size and age classes among these silvicultural strategies? What levels of tree recruitment are needed to ensure that forests dominated by longleaf pine are sustainable over time?

Growth and Yield Modeling

We seek to validate existing models of longleaf pine growth and mortality, and to develop new models for longleaf pine that do not exist or can be improved. We aim to accomplish this using Jones Center and other regional data sets.

Soil Health and Conservation

Our lab members have a rich background of experience doing soil research. We seek to evaluate how forest management, including the use of prescribed fire, influences soil carbon and nutrient stocks over time. We are also interested in examining how different types of harvesting systems influence soil health and conservation.