Scientists & Staff
Forest Biometrics, Silviculture, Forest Disturbance.
Why This Research is ImportantTree survival is a common inventory measure that is collected for multiple long term data sets related to forest management strategies and disturbance. Analysis however has been limited in the past to logistic regression modeling or other more basic measures of mortality such as percentages over time. A variety of research topics have been presented where mortality of the overstory trees is studied in a limited fashion, such as shelterwood-burns, invasive species such as emerald ash borer, and deferment cutting
Studies of the effect of forest management on tree grade exist but were limited in the past by a lack of statistical program capability and a need for advancements in the theory of generalized linear mixed models. With newer tools available, a more rigourous approach can be implemented to analyzing the effect of forest management on tree grade. This allows for better estimation of hardwood yields across the region.
Growth and yield modeling is an important tool for consultants, land managers, and software developers with models needing to be developed for Appalachian forests. In some cases, there are no available models for particular species (for example Tilia americana or Fagus grandifolia), while for others an important input, site index, is not representative of the region. . Appalachian hardwoods are critical to sustaining the hardwood forest products industry which supports many rural communities in the region, while the latter is an endangered ecosystem in need of restoration. Beyond the issue of unavailable and unsuitable growth and yield models, changes in forest management practices and changing climate are also factors influencing the need for new models.
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University , Doctor Of Philosophy Forestry and Forest Products (Forest Biometrics), 2009
- Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, B.S. Environmental Science, 1994
- Research Forester, USDA Forest Service 2010 - Current
- Mathematical Statistician, USDA Forest Service 2000 - 2009
Featured Publications & Products
- Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa; Brown, John P.; Wiedenbeck, Jan. 2017. Managing Appalachian hardwood stands using four management practices: 60-year results. Forest Ecology and Management. 387: 3-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.08.019
- Wiedenbeck, Janice K.; Brown, John P.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa. 2017. Tree-quality impacts associated with use of the shelterwood-fire technique in a central Appalachian forest. In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 146-156.
- Brown, John P. 2015. Spatial Allocation of Timber Product Output Roundwood Receipts. Forest Science
- Brown, John P.; Oderwald, Richard G. 2012. Sampling estimators of total mill receipts for use in timber product output studies. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 42: 476-489.
- Knight, Kathleen S.; Brown, John P.; Long, Robert P. 2013. Factors affecting the survival of ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees infested by emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). Biological Invasions. 15: 371-383.
- Brown, John; Wiedenbeck, Janice K.; Gazo, Rado; Yaussy, Daniel A. 2004. Silvicultural Treatment Effects on Hardwood Tree Quality on the Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest. In: Yaussy, Daniel A.; Hix, David M.; Long, Robert P.; Goebel, P. Charles, eds. Proceedings, 14th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2004 March 16 19; Wooster, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-316. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 56-65.
Publications & Products
- Wilson, Geoffrey ; Green, Mark ; Brown, John ; Campbell, John ; Groffman, Peter ; Durán, Jorge ; Morse, Jennifer. 2020. Snowpack affects soil microclimate throughout the year. Climatic Change
- Brown, John P. 2019. Heartwood taper in northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.). NRS-32. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 9 p.
- Brown, John P.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Schuler, Thomas M. 2018. Overstory cohort survival in an Appalachian hardwood deferment cutting: 35-year results. Forest Ecology and Management
- Brown, John P.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa A.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Wiedenbeck, Janice K. 2018. Silvicultural Prescriptions Influence the Proportion of High-Quality Hardwood Butt Logs Harvested over a Half-Century of Management. Forest Science. 64(2): 203-213.
- Brown, John P.; Wiedenbeck, Janice K.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas- Van Gundy, Melissa A. 2018. Patterns of overstory mortality in a shelterwood- burn central Appalachian forest. In: Kirschman, Julia E.; Johnsen, Kurt, comps. 2018. Proceedings of the 19th biennial southern silvicultural research conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-234. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station.
- Brown, John P.; Westfall, James A. 2012. An evaluation of the properties of the variance estimator used by FIA. In: McWilliams, Will; Roesch, Francis A. eds. 2012. Monitoring Across Borders: 2010 Joint Meeting of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium and the Southern Mensurationists. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-157. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 53-58.
- Brown, John; Lister, Andrew J.; Fajvan, Mary Ann; Ruefenacht, Bonnie; Mazzarella, Christine. 2012. Modeling forest ecosystem changes resulting from surface coal mining in West Virginia. In: McWilliams, Will; Roesch, Francis A. eds. 2012. Monitoring Across Borders: 2010 Joint Meeting of the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium and the Southern Mensurationists. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-157. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 67-75.
- Brown, John P.; Sendak, Paul E. 2006. Association of ring shake in eastern hemlock with tree attributes. Forest Products Journal 56(10):31-36
- Brown, John; Miller, Gary W.; Gottschalk, Kurt W. 2004. Effects of Alternative Thinning Treatments on Tree Grades at Three Upland Hardwood Sites in Kentucky and Ohio: 30 Year Results. In: Yaussy, Daniel A.; Hix, David M.; Long, Robert P.; Goebel, P. Charles, eds. Proceedings, 14th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2004 March 16-19; Wooster, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-316. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station: 502
- Wiedenbeck, Jan; Brown, John; Bennett, Neal. 2003. Crook and overlength in hardwood lumber:results from a 14-mill survey. Forest Products Journal. 53(5): 61-66.
National Research Highlights
Study reveals how to minimize overstory mortality when using shelterwood-burn techniques to restore oak forests
Hardwood forests, and especially oak forests, in the eastern U.S. often require fire to create forest conditions suitable for successful stand regeneration from seeds. Today these conditions are most often achieved through use of prescribed fire; however, these fires put mature trees at risk. Forest Service scientists are studying how different stand treatments combined with prescribed fire can achieve desired regeneration results while minimizing tree mortality.
New research published in 2017 describes the results of a 60-year forest management demonstration area on the Fernow Experimental Forest and the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.
Analysis of 50-year records of harvests on the Fernow Experimental Forest in west Virginia by Forest Service scientists demonstrates that diameter-limit cutting is not a sustainable practice in regard to tree quality. In contrast, single-tree selection has not affected stand quality and is sustainable.
The quality of trees grown and harvested under various methods exhibits changing patterns over time. A Forest Service scientist studied three methods to determine the sustainability of the options over the long term. Although the number of trees harvested was initially significantly higher from both patch cutting and single tree selection, the percentage of trees cut from diameter-limit plots decreased over time whereas the patch cutting and single tree selection practices have increasing percentages. At close to fifty years, the practices have converged in percentages and suggest that the diameter practice is on an unsustainable curve while patch cutting and single tree selection are more sustainable choices.