Dr. Canham's research includes: Development and application of SORTIE, a spatially-explicit model of forest dynamics; neighborhood dynamics of forest ecosystems; effects of vertebrate consumers on forest dynamics; effects of hurricanes on temperate and tropical forest dynamics; watershed-scale analyses of variation in lake chemistry; likelihood estimation methods and modeling.
Likelihood Methods in Ecology
Much of my research uses novel statistical methods, based on likelihood principles, for the analysis of spatially-explicit processes. Dr. Maria Uriarte and I have developed an intensive short course to teach these new methods to graduate students, postdocs and faculty.
Development of a Neighborhood Theory of Forest Ecosystem Dynamics
Canopy trees exert strong and highly localized effects on ecosystem processes, and synergisms in the interactions of mixtures of different species are common. These processes are not readily incorporated in traditional models from either community ecology or ecosystem science. Spatially-explicit, neighborhood-scale models offer an approach that can integrate population, community, and ecosystem ecology.
Effects of Small and Large Mammals on the Dynamics of Northern and Southern Hemisphere Temperate Forests
Research in temperate forests of North America focuses on linkages between tree seed production, small mammal distribution and abundance, and seedling establishment, and on the effects of browsing by white-tailed deer. Research in temperate forests of New Zealand focuses on the effects of introduced small and large mammals.
Ecology and Sustainable Management of Temperate Forests
Through a collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Forests we are using the SORTIE model to understand the long-term dynamics of a diverse temperate coniferous forest (more information), and to explore partial cutting as an alternative to clear-cutting. I am also working with a group to use the Forest Inventory and Analysis datasets from the U.S. Forest Service to parameterize SORTIE for use in exploring strategies for sustainable management of forests of the northeastern U.S.
Watershed-scale Analysis of Variation in the Chemistry of Adirondack Lakes
We are using a modeling approach to exploring links between Adirondack lake chemistry and the configuration of forests and wetlands within the watershed of over 500 watersheds in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
Hurricanes & the Dynamics of Temperate & Tropical Forests
We are using SORTIE to compare the effects of hurricanes on the tropical forests of Puerto Rico and the temperate forests of southern New England.