Chris J. Peterson
Graduate Coordinator
Plant Sciences, Rm 2615
Phone Number:  706-542-3754
Office/Lab:  Plant Sciences, Rm 2606
Phone Number: 

Ph.D Plant Community Ecology, Rutgers University 1992

Research Projects: 

My research interests encompass two main areas: 1) forest wind disturbance and regeneration, 2) tropical post-agricultural succession. Relative to forest wind disturbance, I study not only the immediate physical and ecological consequences of windstorms, but also the patterns of regeneration after the disturbance. Relative to tropical succession, I have been documenting both the long-term (10 years and more) pattern of forest regrowth, and the factors driving that pattern, in five sites in premontane tropical wet forest in southern Costa Rica.

Grant Support: 
  • 2010 Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, for $30,260 over 12 monhts. Title:"Windthrow workplan, First Amendment". Sole PI.
  • 2009 Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, for $144,472 over 24 months. Title:“Windthrow workplan, Levee Vegetation Science team”. Sole PI.
  • 2009 U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Cooperative Agreement, for $11,000 over 9 months. Title:“Predicting the Effects of Sudden Oak Death on Mesic Oak Forests in the Southern Appalachians.” Co-PIs: Dr. Ron Hendrick, and Dr. James Vose.
  • 2008 National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement grant, for $11,662, over 12 months. Title "Enemy release and nutrient enrichment: Population- and community-level effects in experimental wetland plant communities." Co-PIs: Dr. Walt Carson and Mr. Steve Hovick.
Selected Publications: 
  • Hovick, S.M., D.E. Bunker, C.J. Peterson, and W.P. Carson. In press. Purple loosestrife suppresses colonization far more than broad-leaved cattail: experimental evidence with plant community implications. In press, Journal of Ecology.
  • Krueger, L.M., C.J. Peterson, A.A. Royo, and W.P. Carson. 2009. Herbivory alters shade tolerance rankings of six woody species in northern hardwood forest windthrow gaps. submitted to Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39(12): 2460-2469.
  • Krueger, L.M., and C.J. Peterson. 2009. Effects of woody debris and ferns on herb-layer vegetation and deer herbivory in a Pennsylvania forest blowdown. Ecoscience 16(4): 461-469.
  • Cowden, C.C., and C.J. Peterson. 2009. A multi-mutualist simulation: Applying biological market models to diverse mycorrhizal communities. Ecological Modeling 220: 1522-1533.
  • de Chantal, M., S. Lilja, C.J. Peterson, T. Kuuluvainen, I. Vanha-Majamaa, and P. Puttonen. 2009. Tree regeneration before and after restoration treatments in managed boreal Picea abies stands. Applied Vegetation Science 12 (2): 131-143.
  • Peterson, C.J. and W.P. Carson. 2008. Processes constraining woody species succession on abandoned pastures in the tropics: on the relevance of temperate models of succession. pp. 367-383 in Tropical Forest Community Ecology, edited by W.P. Carson & S. Schnitzer. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Peterson, C.J., and A.D. Leach. 2008. Limited salvage logging effects on forest regeneration after moderate-severity windthrow. Ecological Applications 18 (2): 407-420.
  • Peterson, C.J., and A.D. Leach. 2008. Salvage logging after windthrow alters microsite abundance and environment, but not vegetation. Forestry 81 (3): 361-376.
  • de Chantal, M., S. Lilja, C.J. Peterson, T. Kuuluvainen, I. Vanha-Majamaa, and P. Puttonen. 2008. Seedling density and distribution among microsites before and after restorative partial cutting and fire in managed Picea abies stands in southern Finland. Applied Vegetation Science 11 (4): 287-299.
  • Peterson, C.J. 2007. Consistent influence of tree diameter and species on damage in nine Eastern North America tornado blowdowns. Forest Ecology and Management, 250: 96-108.