I am interested in the dynamics and biogeography of plant communities, particularly forests. My research encompasses both theoretical and applied aspects of forest ecology, including species coexistence mechanisms, the carbon cycle, and impacts of climate change on forest communities. I use a variety of approaches in my research, including mathematical and simulation models, statistical analysis of forest inventory data, and field campaigns designed to leverage large datasets. I have worked in tropical, temperate, and boreal systems, with a focus on deciduous forests of the eastern U.S. Current projects include:
- Assimilating forest inventory and eddy covariance data to improve global ecosystem models.
- Interplay of disturbance and productivity in determining tree species diversity in heterogeneous landscapes.
- Quantifying the effects of CO2 fertilization and climate change on U.S. forests using long-term inventory records.
- Inter- and intraspecific variation in tree allocation to fine roots, wood, and leaves across gradients of plant water availability.
Lichstein, J.W. and S.W. Pacala. 2011. Local diversity in heterogeneous landscapes: quantitative assessment with a height-structured forest metacommunity model. Theoretical Ecology 4:269-281.
Lichstein, J.W., J. Dushoff, K. Ogle, A. Chen, D.W. Purves, J.P. Caspersen, and S.W. Pacala. 2010. Unlocking the forest inventory data: relating individual-tree performance to unmeasured environmental factors. Ecological Applications 20(3):684-699.
Chisholm, R.A, and J.W. Lichstein. 2009. Linking dispersal, immigration and scale in the neutral theory of biodiversity. Ecology Letters 12:1385-1393.
Lichstein, J.W., C. Wirth, H.S. Horn, and S.W. Pacala. 2009. Biomass chronosequences of United States forests: implications for carbon storage and forest management. Pages 301-341 in C. Wirth, G. Gleixner, and M. Heimann, eds. Old-growth forests: function, fate and value. Ecological Studies vol. 207, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Purves, D.W., J.W. Lichstein, N. Strigul, and S.W. Pacala. 2008. Predicting and understanding forest dynamics using a simple, tractable model. PNAS 105(44):17018-17022.
Wirth C., J.W. Lichstein, J. Dushoff, A. Chen, and F.S. Chapin III. 2008. White spruce meets black spruce: dispersal, postfire establishment, and growth in a warming climate. Ecological Monographs 78(4):489-505.
Lichstein, J.W., J. Dushoff, S.A. Levin, and S.W. Pacala. 2007. Intraspecific variation and species coexistence. American Naturalist 170(6):807-818.
Lichstein, J.W., T.R. Simons, S.A. Shriner, and K.E. Franzreb. 2002. Spatial autocorrelation and autoregressive models in ecology. Ecological Monographs 72(3):445-463.