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Daniel C. Dey, Dr.

Daniel C. Dey, Dr.
Project Leader / Research Forester
Sustainable Management of Central Hardwood Ecosystems and Landscapes
University of Missouri
202 Anheuser Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211-7260
United States
573-875-5341 x225
Current Research
My research focuses on evaluating silvicultural practices to manage forests that produce the wide array of goods and services that land owners and society desire. I specialize in solving forest regeneration issues in hardwood-dominated forests in both uplands and bottomlands. Much of my experience is in the natural regeneration and development of hardwood-dominated forests and in the afforestation of bottomland agricultural lands. I have done extensive work with collaborators on determining historic fire regimes in oak/pine-dominated ecosystems throughout the Eastern United States. This knowledge is the basis for developing prescriptions that combine prescribed fire with mechanical thinning and harvesting to restore native forest communities such as woodlands and savannas, favor fire dependent species, reduce fuels and fire risk, restore natural ecosystem processes, etc. I model forest responses to specific silvicultural practices. I develop forest management guidelines for practitioners. i study the effects of prescribed fire on timber quantity, quality and value and seek to design applications of fire that minimize adverse ecological, economic and social impacts.
Research Interest
I plan on continuing my work in forest regeneration and restoration in primarily oak/pine forests, woodlands and savannas, and in the afforestation of bottomland forests. I am interested in wildlife and forest interactions during the regeneration process. I also am interested in developing regional regeneration models for the Central Hardwood Region. I am initiating new research in the silviculture of pine/oak forests with emphasis on shortleaf pine regeneration and development in natural upland forests. I am always interested in supporting and contributing to increasing our knowledge on fire history in American forests.
Why This Research Is Important
Forest managers often want to regenerate mature forests, to restore forests where they use to be, or to restore fire-dependent woodland and savanna ecosystems. They desire to shape the structure and composition of the forests, provide quality wildife habitat, conserve native biodiversity, and promote the production of a diversity of goods and services. Developing silvicultural prescriptions to accomplish these goals in an economical manner is a challenge. My research addresses priority issues in forest regeneration, sustainability and restoration in the northern region. I provide a better understanding of how forests respond to natural and human disturbances, and how management can be used to guide forest regeneration and succession. I evaluate innovative combinations of traditional silvicultural practices for managing forests, woodlands and savannas. I produce models of forest regeneration, which are useful tools for forest managers. They allow evaluation of current forest conditions and prediction of future outcomes for specified types of management. My work in fire and vegetation history provides an ecological foundation for forest restoration work. Ultimately, this research is the basis for forest management guidelines and standards.
  • University of Missouri, Ph.D., Quantitative Silviculture, 1991
  • University of Missouri, M.Sc., Quantitative Silviculture, 1980
  • University of Missouri, B.S., Forest Management Univ, 1976
Professional Organizations
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF),  Current
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

White Oak Reproduction Under Fire: Thinning and Prescribed Fire to Benefit Species in Demand

Year: 2020
White oak commodity production has seen an uptick due to increased demand for spirits distilled in white oak barrels. To maintain white oak primacy, which supports ecosystems as well as industry, managers must ensure that white oak saplings survive and grow into the canopy. USDA Forest Service resea...

Loss of diversity in the Missouri Ozark Highlands Places Ecosystem at Risk

Year: 2013
Past land use over the last 200 years has made Missouri's Ozark Highlands less diverse and more homogeneous in the condition of its vegetation. This trend places the ecoregion at more at risk to environmental degradation and catastrophic resource loss from invasive species outbreaks, extreme weather...

Effects of Timber Harvesting and Biomass Removal on Forest Health Studied

Year: 2012
A 10-year study shows that forest sites are able to experience high levels of soil compaction and biomass removal with little negative effects on seedling growth and nutrition

Forest Management Guidelines Help Improve and Sustain Missouri's Forest Resources

Year: 2014
Missouri landowners and resource managers need state-of-the-art, science-based knowledge of forest management planning, silviculture, and best management practices to guide their stewardship and use of Missouri's 15.5 million acres of forestland. Forests contribute significantly to the state econom...

New Model Estimates Historic Fire Frequency

Year: 2012
Model will help restore fire-dependent ecosystems and assess effects of changing climates

Study Guides Restoration of Natural Communities in Missouri

Year: 2015
Land use over the last 200 years has decreased diversity, and increased homogeneity, of the vegetative landscape of Missouri. This trend has put the state’s forested-prairie ecoregion in significant risk of environmental degradation and catastrophic resource loss from invasive species outbreaks, ext...

The History of Fire in the United States and its Future Under Changing Climates

Year: 2016
In the past, North America was a fire continent, but the role of fire was highly variable across the country and over time. Fire history research quantitatively defines key attributes of past fire regimes. This is key ecological information that informs efforts to restore fire-dependent natural comm...

Hardwood-Softwood Mixtures for Future Forests in Eastern North America: Assessing Suitability to Projected Climate Change

Year: 2016
Despite growing interest in management strategies for climate change adaptation, there are few methods for assessing the ability of stands to endure or adapt to projected future climates. Forest Service scientists developed a means for assigning climate “compatibility” and “adaptability” scores to s...