Virginia H Dale

Virginia H Dale
University of Tennessee | UTK · Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

PhD Mathematical Ecology

About

298
Publications
106,473
Reads
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18,265
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 1993 - present
University of Tennessee
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 1984 - December 2018
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
Education
September 1975 - May 1980
University of Washington Seattle
Field of study
  • Mathematical Ecology
September 1972 - August 1975
University of Tennessee
Field of study
  • Mathematics

Publications

Publications (298)
Article
Full-text available
Scientific study of issues at the nexus of food–energy–water systems (FEWS) requires grappling with multifaceted, “wicked” problems. FEWS involve interactions occurring directly and indirectly across complex and overlapping spatial and temporal scales; they are also imbued with diverse and sometimes conflicting meanings for the human and more-than-...
Article
Full-text available
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) instigated a pandemic that impacted economies, employment, and shipping worldwide. This paper reviews how one international supply chain performed and identifies lessons that may be helpful to improve future resilience. Economic and employment data through November 2020 are used to review the effects of COVID...
Article
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Community and stakeholder engagement is increasingly recognized as essential to science at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems (FEWS) to address complex issues surrounding food and energy production and water provision for society. Yet no comprehensive framework exists for supporting best practices in community and stakeholder engagement f...
Article
Full-text available
Wood-based pellets are produced in the southeastern United States (SE US) and shipped to Europe for the generation of heat and power. Effects of pellet production on selected Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) are evaluated using industry information, available energy consumption data, and published research findings. Challenges associated wit...
Article
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Food, energy, and water (FEW) systems have been recognized as an issue of critical global importance. Understanding the mechanisms that govern the FEW nexus is essential to develop solutions and avoid humanitarian crises of displacement, famine, and disease. The U.S. and China are the world's leading economies. Although the two nations are shaped b...
Chapter
Assessing the sustainability of natural resource management choices for agricultural and forest lands requires quantification of potential changes to a set of environmental and socioeconomic indicators selected to characterize reference scenarios relative to projected future scenarios. Correctly framing the questions with local stakeholders is a cr...
Article
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A systematic process for assessing progress toward landscape sustainability goals is developed and tested. Application of the approach builds capacity and promotes continual improvements in management practices, thus enabling timely action to address changing conditions while progressing toward locally defined goals. We consider how the approach ap...
Article
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Identifies forest management actions that improve landscape services including biodiversity protection. Synthesis of Guatemala Maya Biosphere case, broad lessons, and recommendations, based on decades of field work. Open access at: https://juniperpublishers.com/ijesnr/pdf/IJESNR.MS.ID.556194.pdf
Article
Land‐management choices made for economic and societal gains intrinsically influence landscapes and species that are dependent upon them. We propose a simple analysis framework to examine critical intersections between land‐management choices and the life‐history conditions of selected species of concern, thereby facilitating the identification of...
Article
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Ecosystems in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta are changing rapidly, as are ecosystems around the world. Extreme events are becoming more frequent and thresholds are likely to be crossed more often, creating greater uncertainty about future conditions. The accelerating speed of change means that ecological systems may not remain stable long enough...
Article
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As the global population increases and becomes more affluent, biomass demands for food and biomaterials will increase. Demand growth is further accelerated by the implementation of climate policies and strategies to replace fossil resources with biomass. There are, however, concerns about the size of the prospective biomass demand and the environme...
Article
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An approach for rapid appraisal of agricultural landscapes was developed and applied to the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, in order to assess progress toward sustainability. Indicators were prioritized with input from stakeholders, and then data were collected to gauge progress toward targets for those metrics. This study identifies and addresses some of th...
Article
Changes in social and environmental conditions in the Western Highlands of Guatemala undermine food security and job opportunities. We describe how targeted assistance can build upon traditional agricultural systems to increase adaptive capacity, improve nutrition, provide jobs, and thereby reduce pressures to migrate. https://www.nature.com/articl...
Article
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Developing sustainable supply chains for bioenergy begins with forest owners. Here we review results from a survey of private forest owners in regions that supply a majority of US wood pellets to Europe. Most private forest owners are aware that environmental benefits of bioenergy outweigh the costs. Aesthetic and conservation values are among mult...
Article
Woody biomass has been identified as a source of dispatchable, renewable energy. Private lands supply the majority of the wood-based pellets that is produced in the southeastern United States (SE US) and shipped to countries in the European Union (EU) for energy generation. To assess the perspectives of potential suppliers of woody biomass in the S...
Article
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This article presents data from a recent mail survey of forest landowners regarding their land ownership characteristics and motivations, past and future management activities, and owner perceptions of bioenergy and its impact on forests. The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled ‘Opportunities and Attitudes of...
Article
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Context There is widespread consensus about the need for landscape sustainability but little agreement about how to define or measure it. Objectives The aim of the paper is to present a systematic approach for measuring progress toward landscape sustainability goals. Methods The approach was developed based on existing literature and our experien...
Article
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The triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability in agriculture requires multi- and inter-disciplinary expertise and remains a major design and implementation challenge. Tools are needed to link extension agents, development workers, farmers, and other agriculture decision-makers to information related to practices that improve sustainability acro...
Technical Report
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IEA Bioenergy Task 43 report, TR2018-05, http://task43.ieabioenergy.com/publications/lignocellulosic-crops-in-agricultural-landscapes/.
Article
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Coastal hypoxia is increasing worldwide in response to human‐caused changes in global climate and biogeochemical cycles. In this paper, we view anthropogenic trends in coastal hypoxia through the lens of disturbance ecology and complexity theory. Complexity theory provides a framework for describing how estuaries and other coastal aquatic ecosystem...
Article
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Research and development agencies, as well as policy makers and agri-food enterprises, need reliable data to support informed decisions that can improve the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. We present a review of agricultural sustainability assessment frameworks (ASAF) that identifies the features most relevant to monitoring progress towa...
Article
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European demand for renewable energy resources has led to rapidly increasing transatlantic exports of wood pellets from the southeastern United States (SE US) since 2009. Disagreements have arisen over the global greenhouse gas reductions associated with replacing coal with wood, and groups on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean have raised concerns t...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report summarises a project that analysed options for integrating lignocellulosic crops in the agricultural landscape, to provide biomass feedstock while at the same time providing additional ecosystem services. This was done by analysing several concrete cases of relevant lignocellulosic cropping systems. Each case was evaluated on context, d...
Chapter
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This book synthesizes understanding of ecological change in the complex and changing environment around the Mount St. Helens volcano, which is unique in the study of volcanic eruptions and subsequent ecological recovery. The variety and large spatial extent of the primary disturbance and subsequent ecological and geophysical processes that continue...
Chapter
The debris-avalanche deposit is one of the most severely disturbed areas created by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, with little survival of a few plant fragments, and primary succession mostly being initiated by the seeds dispersed onto the newly emplaced material. Vegetation changes on the debris-avalanche deposit during the first 30 years...
Book
This book builds on existing work exploring succession, disturbance ecology, and the interface between geophysical and biological systems in the aftermath of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The eruption was dramatic both in the spatial extent of its impact and the range of volcanic disturbance types and intensities. Complex geophysical force...
Chapter
This chapter approaches participatory modeling in environmental decision making from an atypical perspective. It broadly addresses the question of how to assure that science conducted to assist practitioners improves resource management. More specifically, it describes a case involving environmental science and natural resource management at Fort B...
Article
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The export of wood pellets from the southeastern United States (USA) has grown significantly in recent years, following rising demand from Europe. Increased wood pellet demand could lead to spatially variable changes in timberland management and area in the USA. This study presents an assessment of the impacts of increasing wood pellet demand (an a...
Article
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Global climate and environmental changes related to the use of fossil fuels and inequitable development make it unethical not to pursue more equitable energy development that includes bioenergy. To achieve sustainable development, competitiveness and costs of bioenergy production need to be addressed in a manner that considers not only economic gai...
Article
Wood pellet exports from the Southeastern United States (SE US) to Europe have been increasing in response to European Union member state policies to displace coal with renewable biomass for electricity generation. An understanding of the interactions among SE US forest markets, forest management, and forest ecosystem services is required to quanti...
Article
Full-text available
Exports of woody pellets from the southeastern United States (US) for European power plants have expanded since 2009, leading to concerns about major negative environmental effects. US exports of wood pellets have grown from essentially nothing in 2008 to 4.6 million metric tons in 2015, with 99% of US pellets being shipped to Europe. To examine ef...
Article
Full-text available
The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled “How is wood-based pellet production affecting forest conditions in the southeastern United States?” (V.H. Dale, E. Parish, K. Kline, E. Tobin, 2017) [1]. This article describes how United States Forest Service (USFS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data from multip...
Article
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The ongoing debate about costs and benefits of wood-pellet based bioenergy production in the southeastern United States (SE US) requires an understanding of the science and context influencing market decisions associated with its sustainability. Production of pellets has garnered much attention as US exports have grown from negligible amounts in th...
Article
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Bioenergy has been under intense scrutiny over the last ten years with significant research efforts in many countries taking place to define and measure sustainable practices. We describe here the main challenges and policy issues, and provide policy recommendations for scaling up sustainable bioenergy approaches globally. The 2016 Intended Nationa...
Technical Report
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Agricultural crop residues are relevant types of biomass for bioenergy and other bioproducts as they are by-products of agricultural crop production, and do not require additional land for harvest. Estimates of the potential available for bioenergy and other uses vary significantly. While the theoretical potential is high, the economic availability...
Article
Full-text available
Exports of woody pellets from the southeastern United States (US) for European power plants have expanded since 2009, leading to concerns about major negative environmental effects. US exports of wood pellets have grown from essentially nothing in 2008 to 4.6 million metric tons in 2015, with 99% of US pellets being shipped to Europe. To examine ef...
Article
Full-text available
We propose a causal analysis framework to increase understanding of land-use change (LUC) and the reliability of LUC models. This health-sciences-inspired framework can be applied to determine probable causes of LUC in the context of bioenergy. Calculations of net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for LUC associated with biofuel production are critica...
Article
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Several EU countries import wood pellets from the south-eastern United States. The imported wood pellets are (co-)fired in power plants with the aim of reducing overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity and meeting EU renewable energy targets. To assess whether GHG emissions are reduced and on what timescale, we construct the GHG bala...
Research
Full-text available
ThinkForest Brief: A summary of the report "Forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation" published by the European Forest Institute (EFI). Available at: www.efi.int/portal/policy_advice/publications/from_science_ to_policy/fstp3/
Article
A vibrant, resilient and productive agricultural sector is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Bringing about such a transformation requires optimizing a range of agronomic, environmental and socioeconomic outcomes from agricultural systems – from crop yields, to biodiversity, to human nutrition. However, these outcomes are...
Book
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The Paris Agreement and the EU Climate and Energy Framework set ambitious but necessary targets. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by phasing out the technologies and infrastructures that cause fossil carbon emissions is one of today’s most important challenges. In the EU, bioenergy is currently the largest renewable energy source used. Most...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the complex interactions among food security, bioenergy sustainability, and resource management requires a focus on specific contextual problems and opportunities. The United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals place a high priority on food and energy security; bioenergy plays an important role in achieving both goals. Effecti...
Article
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The paper describes an approach to landscape design that focuses on integrating bioenergy production with other components of environmental, social and economic systems. Landscape design as used here refers to a spatially explicit, collaborative plan for management of landscapes and supply chains. Landscape design can involve multiple scales and bu...
Article
Social and economic indicators can be used to support design of sustainable energy systems. Indicators representing categories of social well-being, energy security, external trade, profitability, resource conservation, and social acceptability have not yet been measured in published sustainability assessments for commercial algal biofuel facilitie...
Article
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This article connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment. A suite of 35 sustainability indicators spanning 12 environmental and socioeconomic categories has been proposed for comparing the sustainability of bioenergy production systems across different feedstock types and locations. Information on...
Chapter
Spatial patterns and ecological processes of the USA central hardwood forests reflect past climatic conditions and natural disturbance regimes. Changes in climate can lead to disturbances that exceed their natural range of variation, and the impacts of these changes depend on the vulnerability or resiliency of these ecosystems. Global Circulation M...
Article
Renewable, biomass-based energy options can reduce the climate impacts of fossil fuels. However, calculating the effects of wood-derived bioenergy on greenhouse gases (GHGs), and thus on climate, is complicated (Miner et al. 2015). To clarify concerns and options about bioenergy, in November 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produc...
Article
In order to aid operations that promote sustainability goals, researchers and stakeholders use sustainability assessments. Although assessments take various forms, many utilize diverse sets of indicators numbering anywhere from two to over 2000. Indices, composite indicators, or aggregate values are used to simplify high dimensional and complex dat...
Article
A framework for selecting and evaluating indicators of bioenergy sustainability is presented. This framework is designed to facilitate decision-making about which indicators are useful for assessing sustainability of bioenergy systems and supporting their deployment. Efforts to develop sustainability indicators in the United States and Europe are r...
Article
For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, i...
Article
Potential global biodiversity impacts from near-term gasoline production are compared to biofuel, a renewable liquid transportation fuel expected to substitute for gasoline in the near term (i.e., from now until c. 2030). Petroleum exploration activities are projected to extend across more than 5.8 billion ha of land and ocean worldwide (of which 3...