Tom Veblen’s legacy of the non-equilibrium’s perspective and role of disturbances in the Southern Hemisphere’s temperate forests.

Authors: Andres Holz*, Global Environmental Change Lab, Department of Geography, Portland State University, Juan Paritsis, Laboratorio Ecotono, INIBIOMA CONICET-Comahue, Bariloche, Argentina, Ignacio Mundo, IANIGLA-CONICET & FCEN-UNCuyo, Argentina, Thomas Kitzberger, Laboratorio Ecotono, INIBIOMA CONICET-Comahue, Bariloche, Argentina, Mauro González, Universidad Austral, Valdivia, Chile, Ricardo Villalba, IANIGLA-CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina
Topics: Biogeography, South America, Physical Geography
Keywords: temperate forests, Southern Hemisphere, Mentoring
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Grand Ballroom 2, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Second Floor Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Since he began working in 1975 in the SH, Tom’s work continues to shape the theoretical framework of the ecology and biogeography of temperate forests in the SH. This talk will dive into contributions of Tom in SH, where he pioneered work that moved away from the equilibrium perspective, and how his worked progressed over time: initially looking at regeneration dynamics, to the study spatiotemporal patterns in disturbances, impacts of human activity on land-use, variability in climate and effects of climate change on forests, introduced species, and native vegetation responses. This journey will present examples from disturbance ecology work from Tom and his advisees in areas in the SH affected by large- and fine-scale disturbances.

One of Tom’s talents, besides being an accomplished Tango dancer, is to have an open mindset that allows him to interpret and re-learn from new results. Consequently and due to his discipline to stay up to date, Tom possesses an impressive knowledge breadth in ecological patterns and processes and history and development of ecological theory. His legacy is strongest around several areas, including high ethical standards, hard work, lots and lots of data, and a very clear and humble communication. For us, South American grad students/postdocs, Tom’s approach as a mentor and role model, guidance and opportunity provider for career development, was crucial in transitioning and succeeding during our respective programs at CU Boulder and later on during our professional careers.

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