Alan Taylor

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Titles and Affiliations
Professor, Geography

Research Summary

I have broad research interests in ecological biogeography and vegetation dynamics, particularly the role of natural and human disturbance and climate variation on forest dynamics. Much of my recent research has focused on identifying the influence of changes and interactions of land-use history and climate on fire disturbance and forest conditions in the western United States. I address theoretical and applied questions in my research and use a wide range of methodological approaches, including tree ring analysis, spatial analysis, statistical modeling, simulation modeling, and historical ecology. I have also conducted research on the dynamics of subalpine bamboo forests with giant pandas in southwest China and on highland bamboo forests in mountain gorilla habitats in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. At Penn State, I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Global Ecology and Biogeography, Geographical Ecology, Forest Geography, Landscape Ecology, Vegetation Dynamics, and Invasive Species.

In the News

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Recent Publications

Precipitation alters the CO2 effect on water-use efficiency of temperate forests

Belmecheri, S., Maxwell, R. S., Taylor, A. H., Davis, K. J., Guerrieri, R., Moore, D. J. P. & Rayback, S. A., Apr 2021, In: Global Change Biology. 27, 8, p. 1560-1571 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Prescribed fire alters structure and composition of a mid-Atlantic oak forest up to eight years after burning

Dems, C. L., Taylor, A. H., Smithwick, E. A. H., Kreye, J. K. & Kaye, M. W., Dec 2021, In: Fire Ecology. 17, 1, 10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Prescribed fire and fire suppression operations influence wildfire severity under severe weather in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA

Harris, L. B., Drury, S. A., Farris, C. A. & Taylor, A. H., Jul 2021, In: International Journal of Wildland Fire. 30, 7, p. 536-551 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Spatial patterns of tree cover change at a dry forest margin are driven by initial conditions, water balance and wildfire

Harris, L. B. & Taylor, A. H., Feb 2021, In: Landscape Ecology. 36, 2, p. 353-371 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Strong Legacy Effects of Prior Burn Severity on Forest Resilience to a High-Severity Fire

Harris, L. B., Drury, S. A. & Taylor, A. H., Jun 2021, In: Ecosystems. 24, 4, p. 774-787 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Controls on spatial patterns of wildfire severity and early post-fire vegetation development in an Arizona Sky Island, USA

Taylor, A. H., Poulos, H. M., Kluber, J., Issacs, R., Pawlikowski, N. & Barton, A. M., Sep 2021, In: Landscape Ecology. 36, 9, p. 2637-2656 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Simulated fire regimes favor oak and pine but affect carbon stocks in mixed oak forests in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Zhao, A., Taylor, A. H., Smithwick, E. A. H., Kaye, M. & Harris, L. B., Aug 15 2021, In: Forest Ecology and Management. 494, 119332.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Rain-shadow forest margins resilient to low-severity fire and climate change but not high-severity fire

Harris, L. B. & Taylor, A. H., Sep 1 2020, In: Ecosphere. 11, 9, e03258.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Hunter and Non-Hunter Perceptions of Costs, Benefits, and Likelihood of Outcomes of Prescribed Fire in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Miller, Z. D., Wu, H., Zipp, K., Dems, C. L., Smithwick, E., Kaye, M., Newman, P., Zhao, A. & Taylor, A., Oct 2 2020, In: Society and Natural Resources. 33, 10, p. 1321-1327 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Carbon isotope ratios in tree rings respond differently to climatic variations than tree-ring width in a mesic temperate forest

Stockton Maxwell, R., Belmecheri, S., Taylor, A. H., Davis, K. J. & Ocheltree, T. W., Jul 15 2020, In: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 288-289, 108014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review