Dr. Monica G.Turner
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Wisconsin
430 Lincoln Dr.
Madison, WI 53706
Ecosystem and
Landscape Ecology Lab
 

Research

Ongoing research in our lab includes the following general areas:

You may also read more about completed research projects...


 

Fire, vegetation and ecosystem processes in Yellowstone National Park

The size and severity of the fires that burned through Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and surrounding lands (see map) during the summer of 1988 surprised scientists, park managers and the general public. The 1988 fires were a large, infrequent but natural disturbance that created a complex landscape mosaic. Since the fires, Turner and colleagues have been studying the effects of fire size and pattern on postfire vegetation and ecosystem processes. Natural disturbances are key sources of heterogeneity in many ecosystems, yet the causes and consequences of disturbances that are large, severe and infrequent are not well understood.

Read more about our research results....

For a summary of key findings geared for a general audience, read "Rising from the Ashes" from the Summer 2008 issue of ON WISCONSIN.

Read about our ongoing Yellowstone projects...

 

 

 

Climate change and disturbance regimes

Many natural disturbances are influenced strongly by climate change, and understanding the ecological effects of climate change, including the consequences for future disturbance regimes, is a focus of our research. In Greater Yellowstone, we began considering the consequences of climate change in the early 1990s. We are currently studying how climate change may affect fire dynamics in Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

Read more about our current studies...

Land-Water Interactions in Wisconsin Landscapes

The interfaces between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (i.e., riparian zones) are key functional linkages in most temperate landscapes. Research in our lab has addressed a variety of land-water linkages, including large river-floodplain systems along the Wisconsin River; the Northern Highlands Lake District centered on Vilas County, Wisconsin; and lakes of the Madison area. We collaborate closely in these studies with researchers at the UW-Madison Center for Limnology and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), with our contribution typically focused on landscape patterns and processes (e.g., land-use change) or the drier side of the land-water interaction (e.g., riparian forests).

Read about our research on Water Sustainability and Climate in the Yahara Watershed…

Read more about the North Temperate Lakes LTER…

Landscape sustainability and ecosystem services

Sustainability has long been a theme in ecology and resource management, but the current rate and magnitude of environmental change has led to a resurgence in interest in sustainability science. Assessing, projecting, and managing the flows of ecosystem services (ES) across spatially heterogeneous landscapes is a key challenge in sustainability science. Research in our lab is contributing to research on sustainability and ecosystem services from the perspective of landscape ecology…

Read about our current studies...

landscape ecology textbook coverTools and Resources for Landscape Ecology

We have produced several general resources for landscape ecology, including a text book (Turner et al. 2015), an edited volume of exercises designed to provide "hands-on" opportunities for learning the basic quantitative tools used in landscape ecology (Gergel and Turner 2017), and an interactive data base for extracting measures of landscape pattern from throughout the US (METALAND). In addition, volume co-edited by John Wiens, Michael Moss, Monica Turner and David Mladenoff, provides an entrée into the publications that provided the foundation for the development of contemporary landscape ecology.

Read more about completed research projects...

Page last updated Wednesday, June 18 2012.