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:
- Quantifying how tree growth and mortality rates have changed over
recent decades, and how they are likely to change in the future.
- Assimilating forest inventory and eddy covariance data to improve
existing global ecosystem models.
- Developing a new global forest model that includes realistic
representations of biodiversity and individual-level competitive
- Studying how disturbance and productivity influence tree species
diversity in heterogeneous landscapes.
Osnas, J.L.D., J.W. Lichstein, P.B. Reich, and S.W. Pacala. 2013. Global
leaf trait relationships: mass, area, and the leaf economics spectrum.
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-
Purves, D.W., J.W. Lichstein, N. Strigul, and S.W. Pacala. 2008.
Predicting and understanding forest dynamics using a simple, tractable
model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(44):17018-
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
Lichstein, J.W., T.R. Simons, S.A. Shriner, and K.E. Franzreb. 2002.
Spatial autocorrelation and autoregressive models in ecology. Ecological