Monica G. Turner

Monica G. Turner
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW · Department of Zoology

PhD, Ecology

About

396
Publications
93,835
Reads
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42,259
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 1994 - present
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • Professor
August 1987 - August 1994
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
September 1980 - August 1987
University of Georgia
Education
September 1980 - May 1985
University of Georgia
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 1976 - May 1980
Fordham University
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (396)
Article
Full-text available
Forest ecosystems are strongly impacted by continuing climate change and increasing disturbance activity, but how forest dynamics will respond remains highly uncertain. Here, we argue that a short time window after disturbance (i.e., a discrete event that disrupts prevailing ecosystem structure and composition and releases resources) is pivotal for...
Data
Climate variability and land-use dynamics have important effects on many terrestrial systems, yet very few empirical studies examine both of these. We studied the impacts of building density, forest canopy cover, and mean temperature on bird species occurrence at 140 study sites in the Southern Appalachian Mountains (North Carolina, USA). Point cou...
Article
Anticipating fire behavior as climate change and fire activity accelerate is an increasingly pressing management challenge in fire‐prone landscapes. In subalpine forests adapted to infrequent, stand‐replacing fire, self‐limitation of burn severity in short‐interval fire is incompletely understood. Spatially explicit fuels data can support assessmen...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Biodiversity conservation relies in part on enduring habitat in protected areas. In fire‐prone ecosystems, shifts in species’ ranges will result both from changes in climate and fire‐catalysed vegetation change, which could lead to niche contraction and undermine protected‐area efficacy. We explored these dynamics for three forest species with...
Article
Many forest species are adapted to long-interval, high-severity fires, but the intervals between severe fires are decreasing with changes in climate, land use, and biological invasions. Although the effects of changing fire regimes on some important recovery processes have previously been considered, the consequences for the dispersal of propagules...
Article
Recent increases in fire frequency and severity across the western US are triggering abrupt changes in ecosystem structure and composition, especially in lower montane forests, but consequences of fire-regime change for mesic, mixed-conifer forests remain uncertain. Glacier National Park (Montana, USA) is characterized by a complex mosaic of specie...
Article
As temperatures continue rising, the direction, magnitude, and tempo of change in disturbance‐prone forests remain unresolved. Even forests long resilient to stand‐replacing fire face uncertain futures, and efforts to project changes in forest structure and composition are sorely needed to anticipate future forest trajectories. We simulated fire (i...
Article
Full-text available
Changing climate and disturbance regimes are increasingly challenging the resilience of forest ecosystems around the globe. A powerful indicator for the loss of resilience is regeneration failure, that is, the inability of the prevailing tree species to regenerate after disturbance. Regeneration failure can result from the interplay among disturban...
Article
Full-text available
Global change has resulted in chronic shifts in fire regimes. Variability in the sensitivity of tree communities to multi-decadal changes in fire regimes is critical to anticipating shifts in ecosystem structure and function, yet remains poorly understood. Here, we address the overall effects of fire on tree communities and the factors controlling...
Article
Asian pheretimoid earthworms of the genera Amynthas and Metaphire (jumping worms) are leading a new wave of coinvasion into Northeastern and Midwestern states, with potential consequences for native organisms and ecosystem processes. However, little is known about their distribution, abundance, and habitat preferences in urban landscapes—areas that...
Article
Full-text available
Context Fire in forested wildland urban interface (WUI) landscapes is increasing throughout the western United States. Spatial patterns of fuels treatments affect fire behavior, but it is unclear how fire risk and fuel treatment effectiveness will change under future conditions. Objectives (1) How do area burned, forest and fuel characteristics, a...
Article
Full-text available
A key sustainability challenge in human-dominated landscapes is how to reconcile competing demands such as food production, water quality, climate regulation, and ecological amenities. Prior research has documented how efforts to prioritize desirable ecosystem services such as food and fiber have often led to tradeoffs with other services. However,...
Article
Stand-replacing fires burned at 100 to 300-year intervals for millennia in subalpine conifer forests of western North America, but forests are burning more frequently as climate warms. Postfire tree regeneration is reduced when young forests reburn before recovering from previous fires or when drought occurs during postfire years. However, whether...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Simulation models are important tools for quantifying the resilience (i.e., persistence under changed environmental conditions) of forest ecosystems to global change. We synthesized the modelling literature on forest resilience, summarizing common models and applications in resilience research, and scrutinizing the implementation of important r...
Article
Subalpine forests that historically burned every 100-300 years are expected to burn more frequently as climate warms, perhaps before trees reach reproductive maturity or produce a serotinous seedbank. Tree regeneration after short-interval (< 30-yr) high-severity fire will increasingly rely on seed dispersal from unburned trees, but how dispersal v...
Article
BACKGROUND: Forest dynamics arise from the interplay of chronic drivers and transient disturbances with the demographic processes of recruitment, growth, and mortality. The resulting trajectories of vegetation development drive the biomass and species composition of terrestrial ecosystems. Forest dynamics are changing because of anthropogenic-drive...
Article
Shifting forest dynamics Forest dynamics are the processes of recruitment, growth, death, and turnover of the constituent tree species of the forest community. These processes are driven by disturbances both natural and anthropogenic. McDowell et al. review recent progress in understanding the drivers of forest dynamics and how these are interactin...
Article
The rapid anthropogenic climate change that is being experienced in the early twenty-first century is intimately entwined with the health and functioning of the biosphere. Climate change is impacting ecosystems through changes in mean conditions and in climate variability, coupled with other associated changes such as increased ocean acidification...
Article
Ecologists have long studied patterns, directions and tempos of change, but there is a pressing need to extend current understanding to empirical observations of abrupt changes as climate warming accelerates. Abrupt changes in ecological systems (ACES)—changes that are fast in time or fast relative to their drivers—are ubiquitous and increasing in...
Article
In subalpine forests of the western United States that historically experienced infrequent, high‐severity fire, whether fire management can shape 21st‐century fire regimes and forest dynamics to meet natural resource objectives is not known. Managed wildfire use (i.e., allowing lightning‐ignited fires to burn when risk is low instead of suppressing...
Article
Eutrophication of freshwaters occurs in watersheds with excessive pollution of phosphorus (P). Factors that affect P cycling and transport, including climate and land use, are changing rapidly and can have legacy effects, making future freshwater quality uncertain. Focusing on the Yahara Watershed (YW) of southern Wisconsin, USA, an intensive agric...
Article
Subalpine forests in the northern Rocky Mountains have been resilient to stand-replacing fires that historically burned at 100- to 300-year intervals. Fire intervals are projected to decline drastically as climate warms, and forests that reburn before recovering from previous fire may lose their ability to rebound. We studied recent fires in Greate...
Article
Conifer forests of the western US are historically well adapted to wildfires, but current warming is creating novel disturbance regimes that may fundamentally change future forest dynamics. Stand‐replacing fires can catalyze forest reorganization by providing periodic opportunities for establishment of new tree cohorts that set the stage for stand...
Article
Robust tree regeneration following high‐severity wildfire is key to the resilience of subalpine and boreal forests, and 21st century climate could initiate abrupt change in forests if postfire temperature and soil moisture become less suitable for tree seedling establishment. Using two widespread conifer species, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var....
Article
Full-text available
The extent of young postfire conifer forests is growing throughout western North America as the frequency and size of high‐severity fires increase, making it important to understand ecosystem structure and function in early seral forests. Understanding nitrogen (N) dynamics during postfire stand development is especially important because northern...
Article
Full-text available
Non-native invasive earthworms are known drivers of forest change in north temperate forests. Much understanding of earthworm invasion is based on species of European origin, but concern about Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Asian jumping worms, Amynthas spp.) is increasing. Some effects of Amynthas spp. on soil properties and biota have been st...
Article
High-severity, infrequent fires in forests shape landscape mosaics of stand age and structure for decades to centuries, and forest structure can vary substantially even among same-aged stands. This variability among stand structures can affect landscape-scale carbon and nitrogen cycling, wildlife habitat availability, and vulnerability to subsequen...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing evidence indicates that forest disturbances are changing in response to global change, yet local variability in disturbance remains high. We quantified this considerable variability and analyzed whether recent disturbance episodes around the globe were consistently driven by climate, and if human influence modulates patterns of forest di...
Article
Biodiversity-based cultural ecosystem services (CES), such as birdwatching, are strongly influenced by biotic community dynamics. However, CES models are largely static, relying on single estimates of species richness or land-use/land-cover proxies, and may be inadequate for landscape management of CES supply. Using bird survey data from the Appala...
Article
Full-text available
Sustaining ecosystem services (ES), mitigating their tradeoffs and avoiding unfavorable future trajectories are pressing social-environmental challenges that require enhanced understanding of their relationships across scales. Current knowledge of ES relationships is often constrained to one spatial scale or one snapshot in time. In this research,...
Article
Abrupt ecological changes are, by definition, those that occur over short periods of time relative to typical rates of change for a given ecosystem. The potential for such changes is growing due to anthropogenic pressures, which challenges the resilience of societies and ecosystems. Abrupt ecological changes are difficult to diagnose because they c...
Article
Urban landscapes are increasingly recognized as providing important ecosystem services (ES) to their occupants. Yet, urban ES assessments often ignore the complex spatial heterogeneity and land-use history of cities. Soil-based services may be particularly susceptible to land-use legacy effects. We studied indicators of three soil-based ES, carbon...
Article
Environmental change is accelerating in the 21st century, but how multiple drivers may interact to alter forest resilience remains uncertain. In forests affected by large high-severity disturbances, tree regeneration is a resilience linchpin that shapes successional trajectories for decades. We modeled stands of two widespread western US conifers,...
Article
Full-text available
Context Landscape-scale studies of ecosystem services (ES) have increased, but few consider land-use history. Historical land use may be especially important in cultural landscapes, producing legacies that influence ecosystem structure, function, and biota that in turn affect ES supply. Objectives Our goal was to generate a conceptual framework fo...
Article
Sustaining food production, water quality, soil retention, flood and climate regulation in agricultural landscapes is a pressing global challenge given accelerating environmental changes. Scenarios are stories about plausible futures, and scenarios can be integrated with biophysical simulation models to explore quantitatively how the future might u...
Article
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Wildfires across western North America have increased in number and size over the past three decades, and this trend will continue in response to further warming. As a consequence, the wildland–urban interface is projected to experience substantially higher risk of climate-driven fires in the coming decades. Although many plants, animals, and ecosy...
Chapter
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The causes and consequences of disturbances are major research topics in landscape ecology (Ecosystems 1:497–510, 1998; Prog Bot 62:399–450, 2001; Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 36:319–344, 2005; Ecology 91(10):2833–2849, 2010). Disturbances are of particular interest because of their reciprocal interactions with landscape pattern—they both respond to and...
Article
Full-text available
Many biodiversity-ecosystem services studies omit cultural ecosystem services (CES) or use species richness as a proxy and assume that more species confer greater CES value. We studied wildflower viewing, a key biodiversity-based CES in amenity-based landscapes, in Southern Appalachian Mountain forests and asked (i) How do aesthetic preferences for...
Article
Full-text available
ContextSustaining hydrologic ecosystem services is critical for human wellbeing but challenged by land use for agriculture and urban development. Water policy and management strive to safeguard hydrologic services, yet implementation is often fragmented. Understanding the spatial fit between water polices and hydrologic services is needed to assess...
Article
Full-text available
Effects of invasive European earthworms in North America have been well documented, but less is known about ecological consequences of exotic Asian earthworm invasion, in particular Asian jumping worms (Amynthas) that are increasingly reported. Most earthworm invasion research has focused on forests; some Amynthas spp. are native to Asian grassland...
Article
Early-seral forests are expanding throughout western North America as fire frequency and annual area burned increase, yet fire behaviour in young postfire forests is poorly understood. We simulated fire behaviour in 24-year-old lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) stands in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States using operation...
Article
Full-text available
Context Resilience in fire-prone forests is strongly affected by landscape burn-severity patterns, in part by governing propagule availability around stand-replacing patches in which all or most vegetation is killed. However, little is known about drivers of landscape patterns of stand-replacing fire, or whether such patterns are changing during an...
Article
Macrosystems ecology is an effort to understand ecological processes and interactions at the broadest spatial scales and has potential to help solve globally important social and ecological challenges. It is important to understand the intellectual legacies underpinning macrosystems ecology: How the subdiscipline fits within, builds upon, differs f...
Article
Scenarios are increasingly used for envisioning future social-ecological changes and consequences for human well-being. One approach integrates qualitative storylines and biophysical models to explore potential futures quantitatively and maximize public engagement. However, this integration process is challenging and sometimes oversimplified. Using...
Article
Climate change is altering the frequency and severity of forest disturbances such as wildfires and bark beetle outbreaks, thereby increasing the potential for sequential disturbances to interact. Interactions can amplify or dampen disturbances, yet the direction and magnitude of future disturbance interactions are difficult to anticipate because un...
Article
Ecological memory is central to how ecosystems respond to disturbance and is maintained by two types of legacies – information and material. Species life-history traits represent an adaptive response to disturbance and are an information legacy; in contrast, the abiotic and biotic structures (such as seeds or nutrients) produced by single disturban...
Article
Escalating wildfire in subalpine forests with stand-replacing fire regimes is increasing the extent of early-seral forests throughout the western US. Post-fire succession generates the fuel for future fires, but little is known about fuel loads and their variability in young post-fire stands. We sampled fuel profiles in 24-year-old post-fire lodgep...
Article
Young, recently burned forests are increasingly widespread throughout western North America, but forest development after large wildfires is not fully understood, especially regarding effects of variable burn severity, environmental heterogeneity, and changes in drivers over time. We followed development of subalpine forests after the 1988 Yellowst...
Article
Full-text available
Forests near the lower limit of montane tree cover are expected to be particularly vulnerable to warming climate, potentially converting to non-forest for prolonged periods if affected by canopy-removing disturbances. Such disturbance-catalyzed shifts are by nature stochastic, offering few opportunities to test these predictions. We capitalized on...
Article
Forests near the lower limit of montane tree cover are expected to be particularly vulnerable to warming climate, potentially converting to non-forest for prolonged periods if affected by canopy-removing disturbances. Such disturbance-catalyzed shifts are by nature stochastic, offering few opportunities to test these predictions. We capitalized on...
Article
Increasing rates of natural disturbances under a warming climate raise important questions about how multiple disturbances interact. Escalating wildfire activity in recent decades has resulted in some forests re-burning in short succession, but how the severity of one wildfire affects that of a subsequent wildfire is not fully understood. We used a...
Article
Full-text available
Disturbance and succession have long been of interest in ecology, but how landscape patterns of ecosystem structure and function evolve following large disturbances is poorly understood. After nearly 25 years, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) forests that regenerated after the 1988 Yellowstone Fires (Wyoming, USA) offer a prime opport...
Article
Full-text available
Young, recently burned forests are increasingly widespread throughout western North America, but forest development after large wildfires is not fully understood, especially regarding effects of variable burn severity, environmental heterogeneity, and changes in drivers over time. We followed development of subalpine forests after the 1988 Yellowst...
Article
Disturbance and succession have long been of interest in ecology, but how landscape patterns of ecosystem structure and function evolve following large disturbances is poorly understood. After nearly 25 years, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) forests that regenerated after the 1988 Yellowstone Fires (Wyoming, USA) offer a prime opport...
Article
Aim Climate warming and increased wildfire activity are hypothesized to catalyse biogeographical shifts, reducing the resilience of fire-prone forests world-wide. Two key mechanisms underpinning hypotheses are: (1) reduced seed availability in large stand-replacing burn patches, and (2) reduced seedling establishment/survival after post-fire drough...
Article
Rural landscapes face changing climate, shifting development pressure, and loss of agricultural land. Perennial bioenergy crops grown on existing agricultural land may provide an opportunity to conserve rural landscapes while addressing increased demand for biofuels. However, increased bioenergy production and changing land use raise concerns for t...
Article
Determining how ecological filters (e.g., climate, soils, biotic interactions) influence where species succeed in heterogeneous landscapes is challenging for long-lived species (e.g., trees), because filters can vary over space and change slowly through time. Stand-replacing wildfires create opportunities for establishment of tree-species cohorts a...
Article
Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefits and minimize trade-offs amon...
Article
Full-text available
The sustainability of hydrologic ecosystem services (freshwater benefits to people generated by terrestrial ecosystems) is challenged by human modification of landscapes. However, the role of landscape heterogeneity in sustaining hydrologic services at scales relevant to landscape management decisions is poorly understood. In particular, the relati...
Article
Full-text available
Rural landscapes face changing climate, shifting development pressure, and loss of agricultural land. Perennial bioenergy crops grown on existing agricultural land may provide an opportunity to conserve rural landscapes while addressing increased demand for biofuels. However, increased bioenergy production and changing land use raise concerns for t...
Article
Increased demand and government mandates for bioenergy crops in the United States could require a large allocation of agricultural land to bioenergy feedstock production and substantially alter current landscape patterns. Incorporating bioenergy landscape design into land-use decision making could help maximize benefi ts and minimize trade-offs amo...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) has responded to the growing commitment among ecologists to make their science relevant to society through a series of concerted efforts, including the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative (1991), scientific assessment of ecosystem management (1996), ESA’s vision for the future (2003), Rapid Response Teams that r...