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Chris J. Peterson

Plant Biology
Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 2606
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Miller Plant Sciences, Rm 2615
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My research interests encompasses several areas related to wind damage to trees and forests: 1) patterns of tree and forest damage, at single-tree, stand, and landscape scales; 2) the patterns of regeneration after wind disturbance; 3) the impact of salvage logging after wind disturbance; 4) individual tree wind firmness; and 5) using tree and forest damage to infer meteorological characteristics of storms.  My long-term goals in relation to wind disturbance research include addressing the impact of these events on carbon cycling at the stand and larger scales.  I also have a small continuing focus on pasture succession and old growth forest dynamics in premontane tropical wet forest in southern Costa Rica.  Finally, I am leading the effort to establish a permanent forest dynamics research plot of 12 ha at the State Botanical Garden near UGA.

  • 2019    University of Georgia Office of Vice President for Research.  $4250 over 12 months.                Title: “Catastrophic Wind Disturbance in Natural and Urban Forests”.  Co-PI; lead PI:              Kamal Gandhi.


    2019    University of Western Ontario, subcontract, for $ 33,473 over 12 months.  Title:                    “Ontario Tornado Project – pilot Phase II; supplement”.  Sole PI.

Selected Publications:

Peterson, C.J. 2019. Twenty-five years of aboveground biomass and carbon accumulation following extreme wind damage in an old-growth forest. Forests, 10(2), art289.  Doi: 10.3390/fl0030289.

Peterson, C.J., G.H.P.M. Ribeiro, R. Negron-Juarez, D. Marra, J.Q. Chambers, N. Higuchi, A. Lima, and J.B. Cannon.  2019.  Critical wind speeds suggest wind could be an important disturbance agent in Amazonian forests.  Forestry, 94(2): 444-459.  Doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpz025.

Oldfield, C., and C.J. Peterson. 2019. Woody species composition, diversity, and recovery 6 years after wind disturbance and salvage logging of a southern Appalachian forest. Forests, 10(2), 29.  Doi: 10.3390/f10020129.

Peterson, C.J. 2019. Damage diversity as a metric of structural complexity after forest wind             disturbance. Forests, 10(2), 85  doi: 10.3390/f10020085.

Cannon, J.B., S.K. Henderson, M.H. Bailey, and C.J. Peterson. 2019. Interactions between wind and fire disturbance in forests: competing amplifying and buffering effects.  Forest Ecology & Management, 436: 117-128.  Doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.01.015. 

Morimoto, J., K. Nakagawa, K.T. Takano, M. Aiba, M. Oguro, Y. Furukawa, Y. Mishima, K. Ogawa, R. Ito, T. Takemi, F. Nakamura, and C.J. Peterson.  2019.  Comparison of vulnerability to storm wind between Abies plantation forests and natural mixed forests in northern Japan.  Forestry, 94(4): 436-443.  Doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpy045.


Ph.D Plant Community Ecology, Rutgers University 1992

Of note:

2019    University of Georgia Sandy Beaver Excellence in Teaching Award.

Articles Featuring Chris J. Peterson

Five PhD students were hooded by Plant Biology faculty during the Spring PhD Graduate Ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum on May 9, 2024. These included Philip Bentz (Jim Leebens-Mack), Max Bernhardt (John Burke), Austin Menzmer (Chris Peterson), Margot Popecki (…

The compound effects of wind and salvage logging change forest trajectories

Callie A. Oldfield and Chris J. Peterson

My Graduate Students

Austin Menzmer

Graduate Student

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