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: 
  • Oh, The Damage Done: Assessing The Patterns And Future Risk Of Tornado Damage In Great Smoky Mountains National Park_(Canon), University Of Washington (DOI), Peterson, Chris J (Principal Investigator) May 15, 2013 - May 15, 2015
  • Rapid: Topographic Variation In Tornado Blowdown Severity, And Consequences For Forest Regeneration, National Science Foundation, Peterson, Chris J (Principal Investigator) September 1, 2011 - August 31, 2013
  • Reconstruction Of Near-Surface Tornado Wind Fields From Forest Damage Patterns In Complex Terrain Terrain, National Science Foundation, Peterson, Chris J (Principal Investigator) June 22, 2011 - July 31, 2013
  • Windthrow Workplan, Levee Vegetation Science Team, Sacramento Area Flood Control, Peterson, Chris J (Principal Investigator) August 20, 2009 - January 1, 2012
Recent Publications: 
  • Peterson, C.J., J.J. Dosch, and W.P. Carson. 2014. Pasture succession in the Neotropics:    Extending the nucleation hypothesis into a matrix discontinuity hypothesis.  Oecologia, 175(4): 1325-1335.
  • Cannon, J. B., J. J. O’Brien, E. L. Loudermilk, M. B. Dickinson, and C. J. Peterson. 2014.  The influence of experimental wind disturbance on forest fuels and fire characteristics. Forest Ecology & Management, 330: 294-303.
  • Sobhani, V.M., M.J. Barrett, and C.J. Peterson. 2014. Robust prediction of treefall pit and mound sizes from tree size across 10 forest blowdowns in eastern North America.  Ecosystems, 17(5): 837-850.
  • Waldron, K., J.-C. Ruel, S. Gauthier, L. DeGrandpre and C.J. Peterson. 2014. Effects of post-windthrow salvage logging on microsites, plant composition and regeneration.  Applied Vegetation Science, 17(2): 323-337.
  • Peterson, C.J., L. Krueger, S. Stark, A.A. Royo, and W.P. Carson.  2013.  Disturbance sizeand severity covary in small and mid-size wind disturbances in Pennsylvania northern hardwoods forests.  Forest Ecology & Management, 302: 273-279.
  • Peterson, C.J., and V. Claassen. 2013.  An evaluation of the stability of Quercus lobata and Populus fremontii on river levees assessed using static winching tests.  Forestry, 86: 201-209.
  • Cowden, C.C., and C.J. Peterson. 2013. Annual and seasonal dynamics of ectomycorrhizal fungi colonizing white pine (Pinus strobus) seedlings following catastrophic windthrow in northern Georgia, USA.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 43: 215-223.
  • Sugiyama, A., and C.J. Peterson. 2013. Inter-annual higher seed germination from smaller than medium-sized premontane wet forest fragments for an animal-dispersed tree species in  Costa Rica. Plant Ecology, 214: 115-125.
  • Sugiyama, A., and C.J. Peterson. 2013.  Edge effects act differentially on multiple early regeneration stages of a shade-tolerant tree Tapirira mexicana.  Biotropica, 45: 37-44.
  • Hovick, S.M., C.J. Peterson, and W.P. Carson. 2012. Predicting invasiveness and range size in wetland plants using biological traits: a multivariate experimental approach.  Journal of Ecology, 100: 1373-1382.