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Dale Brockway

Dale Brockway
Emeritus Scientist
Restoring Longleaf Pine Ecosystems
521 Devall Drive
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
United States
334-826-8700 x128
Current Research
Forest ecosystem ecology, fire ecology, restoration ecology and silviculture. Quantify the dynamic interactions between ecological processes and natural disturbance regimes, specifically fire as a regulator of ecosystem function, structure, pattern and composition. Development of technologies useful in restoration of degraded ecosystems to a functional status compatible with achieving the multiple goals and objectives of natural resource managers. Analysis of the management impacts, resulting from application of silviculture alternatives, on ecosystem processes, biological diversity and sustainable productivity in longleaf pine forests.
Past Research

Restoring fire as an ecological process in shortgrass prairies; restoring grassland savannas from degraded pinyon-juniper woodlands; forest plant diversity at local and landscape scales in the Cascade Mountains; ecological classification and management of forest plant associations in the western Cascades; forest fertilization and nutrient cycling through land application of biosolids and wastewater.

Research Interest

Ecosystem restoration; ecosystem recovery from disturbance; uneven-aged forest management through selection silviculture.

Why This Research Is Important

During the earlier period of timber exploitation, longleaf pine occupancy throughout the South was reduced from 93 to less than 3 million acres. Since this time, longleaf pine forests have come to be recognized as being among the most species-rich plant communities outside the tropics and yet one of the most endangered of terrestrial ecosystems in North America. In recent times, broad-scale collaborative efforts have developed which are aimed at restoring longleaf pine on several million new acres and improving the condition of longleaf pine ecosystems on many existing acres. The research undertaken by RWU-SRS-4158 "Restoring and Managing Longleaf Pine Ecosystems" focuses on providing new and improved methods, techniques and tools that will facilitate the restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems and provide guidance for sustainably managing longleaf pine forests for a broad range of products and services.

  • Michigan State University, Ph.D., Forest Ecology and Forest Soils, 1979
  • Michigan State University, M.S., Forest Ecology and Silviculture, 1975
  • Michigan State University, B.S., Biology: Ecology and Physiology, 1973
  • Delta College, A.S., Conservation Biology, 1971
Professional Experience
  • Research Ecologist,  Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service,  1998 - Current
  • Research Ecologist,  Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service,  1994 - 1998
  • Forest & Grassland Ecologist,  Rocky Mountain Region, USDA Forest Service,  1992 - 1994
  • Research Plant Ecologist,  Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service,  1990 - 1992
  • Forest Planning and Policy Development Section Leader,  Forest Management Division, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources,  1989 - 1990
  • Forest Soil Scientist,  Environmental Protection Bureau, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources,  1983 - 1989
  • Forest Ecologist,  Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service,  1981 - 1983
  • Forest Soil Scientist,  Environmental Protection Bureau, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources,  1979 - 1981
Professional Organizations
  • Member,  Society for Ecological Restoration,  2001 - Current
  • Lifetime Member,  Ecological Society of America,  1988 - Current
  • Member,  Society of American Foresters (SAF),  1975 - Current
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Selection silviculture can be well-suited to longleaf pine forests

Year: 2017
Uneven-aged silviculture continues to show promise as an effective way to regenerate longleaf pine stands. Uneven-aged silviculture also maintains continuous canopy cover that aids in the control of woody competitors and supports an array of resource values.

Dynamics of longleaf pine cone production in the southeastern U.S.

Year: 2017
Longleaf pine cone production is the result of complex interactions between trees and their environment. Multiscale entropy reflects the complex flow of information among these many ecosystem parts.

Is the relationship between tree height and diameter consistent across species and ranges?

Year: 2017
Scaling exponents reveal differences in longleaf pine height-diameter relationships across its range, possibly due to water availability. Tree species adapted to swampy conditions have developed growth forms that result in deviations from expected relationships.

Restoration Treatments for the Post-Hurricane Recovery of Longleaf Pine

Year: 2012
Scientists recommend herbicide use to control hardwoods in plantings of longleaf pine after hurricane damage

New Management Technique Offers Promise for Longleaf Pine Forests and Beyond

Year: 2010
SRS researchers and partners developed a new technique for managing longleaf pine forests called the Proportional-B (Pro-B) Method. Results show forest personnel can easily learn and apply Pro-B and achieve desired outcomes in the forest.

Comparing Reproduction Techniques for Longleaf Pine Forests

Year: 2014
Methods of even-aged management for longleaf pine are well known, but techniques for uneven-aged management have been poorly understood and largely untested. New approaches to uneven-aged management increase the number of options available to forest managers, so a broader range of resource values an...