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Academic & Professional Books  Habitats & Ecosystems  Forests & Wetlands

Forests as Complex Social and Ecological Systems A Festschrift for Chadwick D. Oliver

Series: Managing Forest Ecosystems Volume: 41
By: Patrick J Baker(Editor), David R Larsen(Editor), Alark Saxena(Editor)
334 pages, Colour illustrations, maps
Publisher: Springer Nature
Forests as Complex Social and Ecological Systems
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  • Forests as Complex Social and Ecological Systems ISBN: 9783030885571 Paperback May 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • Forests as Complex Social and Ecological Systems ISBN: 9783030885540 Hardback May 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Professor Chadwick Dearing Oliver has made major intellectual contributions to forest science and natural resources management. Over the course of his career, he has actively sought to bring research and practice together through synthesis, outreach, and capacity-building. A common thread throughout his career has been complexity and how we as a society understand and manage complex systems. His work on forest stand dynamics, landscape management, and sustainability has all focused on the emergent properties of complex ecological and/or social systems. This volume celebrates a remarkable career through a diverse group of former students and colleagues who work on a wide range of subject areas related to the management of complex natural resource systems.

Over the past decade, there has been considerable discussion about forests as complex adaptive systems. Advances in remote sensing, social methods, and data collection and processing have enabled more detailed characterisations of complex natural systems across spatial and temporal scales than ever before. Making sense of these data, however, requires conceptual frameworks that are robust to the complexity of the systems and their inherent dynamics, particularly in the context of global change.

Forests as Complex Social and Ecological Systems presents a collection of cutting-edge research on natural ecosystems and their dynamics through the lens of complex adaptive systems. Each chapter offers new insights into how these systems can be made more resilient to ensure that they provide a diversity of ecological and social values well into the future. Together they provide a robust way of thinking about the many challenges that natural ecosystems face and how we as a society may best address them.


1. Chad Oliver and forests as complex systems / Melih Boydak

Section I. Complex Forest Stand Dynamics
2. Principles of stand reconstruction to illuminate stand dynamics of complex forests in Alaska / Bob Deal
3: Forest stand dynamics principles used to guide the management of uneven-aged forest in the Missouri Ozarks / Dave Larsen
4: Forest stand dynamics and the curious case of the critically endangered Leadbeater's Possum / Patrick Baker
5: Modelling and mapping complex stand structures with airborne LiDAR / John Kershaw
6. How might the concepts of traditional stand dynamics be used for more complex stands / Bruce Larson

Section II. Forests as Complex Ecological Systems
7. Integrating effects of climate on temperate montane forests / Pil Sun Park
8. Carbon++: integrating non-CO2 forcers in our understanding of forests and climate / Kris Covey
9. Understanding post-wildfire fuel dynamics in dry forests of the Pacific Northwest / Morris Johnson
10. Understanding forestry through pictures: A journey of graphics, pictures, and visualisations / Jim McCarter
11. The inertia of forested landscapes and applications to management / Jeremy Wilson

Section III. Forests as Complex Social Systems
12. Tiger in the woods, elephant in the room / Xuemei Han
13. Forests as complex systems: Implications from the perspective of sustainable development / Glenn Galloway
14. Securing forest tenure for rural development / Gerardo Segura
15. Understanding the dynamics between forests and livelihoods: A case of Central Indian landscapes / Alark Saxena
16. Closing comments / Chad Oliver

Customer Reviews


Patrick Baker is a Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on the dynamics of complex forests. He has worked in forests in continental Southeast Asia, Hawaii, Sri Lanka and southern India, southeastern Australia, the Andes, western North America, and the Himalayas. His research uses dendrochronology and long-term forest inventory plots to understand how forest structure and composition change over time, how climate, disturbances, and other factors have driven these changes, and how this knowledge can inform forest management practices in a changing world.

David R. Larsen is a Professor Emeritus of Quantitative Silviculture at the University of Missouri. His research focuses on the modelling of forest structure and dynamics. He has worked in forests of Western and Eastern North America, Northern Europe and Mediterranean Europe and North-Eastern China. His research uses computer models of forest dynamics and ground-based remote sensing to collect and analyse spatial relationships in forests. He has also developed and used statistical methods for analysing spatially structured forest data such as restricted probability models for survival analysis, multivariate regression trees, and areas potentially available in a weighted constrained context to analysis forest spatial patterns. This work has heavily depended on the rare resource of permanent sample plots as a window into the long-term dynamics of these forest systems. These tools have been applied to conifer and broad-leaf forests, regeneration, growth, mortality, and ecological and wood-quality processes. The tools are designed to help understand the likely consequences of how the climate and human interactions may change the forests of the world.

Alark Saxena is an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management at the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University. His research is situated at the intersection of complex interactions between human and natural systems. Using livelihood, socio-ecological systems, and complex adaptive systems approach Alark models the coupled and dynamic relationships between forest and people to enable decision-making for sustainability within a rapidly changing world. Alark's current research focuses on the resilience of forest-dependent communities to climate change, dynamic interactions between refugee communities with their environment, the role of forest as a safety net during crises, and wood-based infrastructure as a Nature-Based Solution for increased resilience to earthquakes in urban mountain landscapes. Alark’s current research work is spread across South Asia and the Himalayas (Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India), the Caribbean, and Southwest United States.

Series: Managing Forest Ecosystems Volume: 41
By: Patrick J Baker(Editor), David R Larsen(Editor), Alark Saxena(Editor)
334 pages, Colour illustrations, maps
Publisher: Springer Nature
Media reviews

"Forests as Complex Social and Ecological Systems is undoubtedly a timely and important new publication. The many prescient and inspirational papers attest to the steady development of silvicultural and forest management science over the past 30 years. The book is available in hardback or ebook. [...] Most relevant for students and researchers in forest ecology and silviculture, this new publication deserves to be widely read by practitioners and policy specialists."
– Edward Wilson, Scottish Forestry, Vol. 76(3), 2022

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