Scientists & Staff
Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy
Ecological and Economic Sustainability of the Appalachian Forest in an Era of Globalization
P.O. Box 404
Parsons, WV 26287
Phone: 304-478-2000 x114
Contact Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy
- Fire regimes of the central Appalachians
- Central Appalachian silviculture
- Fire as a silvicultural tool in oak forests
- Witness trees of the Monongahela National Forest
- Red spruce recovery and restoration
I hope to continue to work at two scales, stand and landscape, as I build a body of work that includes both traditional silviculture and landscape ecology. I am interested in carrying on the long-term silvicultural studies of the Fernow Experimental Forest. I am also interested in the use of prescribed fire as a silvicultural tool to aid in oak regeneration and as a landscape-scale disturbance.
Why This Research is Important
Use of prescribed fire likely to increase and knowledge of fire history will help in determining where to return this disturbance regime.
In a part of the country without the benefit of General Land Office surveys, witness trees represent a snap-shot in time of species distributions. I hope to use the GIS based witness tree database to describe and categorize land-vegetation relationships of the area. Red spruce forests support rare species and are in slow recovery from era of exploitative forestry. Monongahela Forest Plan places emphasis on recovery and restoration of red spruce and spruce-hardwood forests. Research is needed to help define and achieve goals.
- West Virginia University, Ph.D. Forest Resources Sciences, 2011
- State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, MS resource management/silviculture, 1992
- Davis and Elkins College, BS pre-forestry, 1989
- Society Of American Foresters West Virginia Chapter, Vice Chair (2011 - Current)
Featured Publications & Products
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Nowacki, Gregory J. 2013. The use of witness trees as pyro-indicators for mapping past fire conditions.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Strager, Michael. 2011. Site characteristics of American chestnut, oak, and hickory witness trees on the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Strager, Michael P. 2012. European settlement-era vegetation of the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.
- Adams, Mary Beth; Ford, W. Mark; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa. 2011. Effects of natural gas development on forest ecosystems.
- Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas Van-Gundy, Melissa; Adams, Mary B.; Ford, W. Mark. 2010. Seed bank response to prescribed fire in the central Appalachians..
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa. 2010. Red spruce restoration modeling in LANDIS.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Strager, Michael; Rentch, James. 2012. Site characteristics of red spruce witness tree locations in the uplands of West Virginia, USA.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Schuler, Thomas M. 2008. Deferred rotation harvests in central Appalachia: 20- and 25-year results.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Nowacki, Gregory J.; Schuler, Thomas M. 2007. Rule-based mapping of fire-adapted vegetation and fire regimes for the Monongahela National Forest.
Publications & Products
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Rentch, James; Adams, Mary Beth; Carson, Walter. 2014. Reversing legacy effects in the understory of an oak-dominated forest.
- Jensen, N.K.; Holzmueller, E.J.; Edwards, P.J.; Thomas-Van Gundy, M.; DeWalle, D.R.; Williard, K.W.J. 2014. Tree response to experimental watershed acidification.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Sturtevant, Brian R. 2014. Using scenario modeling for red spruce restoration planning in West Virginia.
- Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Adams, Mary Beth; Ford, W. Mark. 2013. Analysis of two pre-shelterwood prescribed fires in a mesic mixed-oak forest in West Virginia.
- Adams, Mary Beth; Edwards, Pamela J.; Ford, W. Mark; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Wood, Frederica. 2012. Fernow Experimental Forest: Research History and Opportunities.
- Adams, Mary Beth; Edwards, Pamela J.; Ford, W. Mark; Johnson, Joshua B.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Wood, Frederica. 2011. Effects of development of a natural gas well and associated pipeline on the natural and scientific resources of the Fernow Experimental Forest.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa. 2010. Red spruce as witness tree on the Monongahela National Forest.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Hao, Wei Min. 2008. Backscatter nephelometer to calibrate scanning lidar.
- Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa. 2006. Assigning fire regimes on the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.
National Research Highlights
|Witness Trees Reveal Where to Restore Fire|
To help land managers make decisions and plan for restoration of oak-dominated forests, witness trees from early surveys were used by a Forest S ...