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Michael R Saunders

Forestry and Natural Resources 

  • Associate Professor of Ecology and Natural Resources
765.430.1440
765.494.9461
PFEN Room 221C
715 W State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Michael R. Saunders is an Associate Professor of Silviculture in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) at Purdue University.  Michael holds a B.S. in Forestry from Iowa State University in 1994, a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University in 1994, a M.S. in Forest Management with a minor in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Minnesota in 1998, and a Ph.D. in Forest Management with an emphasis in Silviculture from the University of Maine in 2006.  He joined the faculty in July 2007.

Michael’s main research emphasis includes: 1) the development of silvicultural systems that increase the range of variability within natural stands and/or emulate natural disturbance regimes within a given region, 2) improvement of growth and yields within intensively managed systems, and 3) the influence of silviculture on wildlife habitat requirements.  He also is involved in projects concerning precommercial thinning in spruce-fir stands within the Northeast and improvement of growth and yield models in the eastern U.S.

Research Group - Ecology of Natural Systems, Forest Biology

Facilities - Forest Ecology, Soils, and Silviculture Lab

Areas of Excellence - Sustaining Hardwood Ecosystems

Related Centers - Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center

Awards & Honors

(2012) Past chair. Indiana Society of American Foresters.

(2011) Chair. Indiana Society of American Foresters.

(2010) Chair-elect. Society of American Foresters - Indiana Chapter.

Selected Publications

Shields, J. M., Jenkins, M. A., Saunders, M. R., Zhang, H., Jenkins, L. H., & Parks, A. M. (in press). Age distribution and spatial patterning of an invasive shrub in secondary hardwood forests. Forest Science. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/forsci.13-079

Nelson, A. S., Wagner, R. G., Saunders, M. R., & Weiskittel, A. R. (2013). Influence of silvicultural intensity and species composition on the development of early-successional Acadian stands in eastern Maine. Forestry, 86(1), 79-90. Retrieved from http://DOI: 10.1093/forestry/cps064

Arseneault, J. E., & Saunders, M. R. (2013). Potential yields and economic returns of natural disturbance-based silviculture: a case study from the Acadian Forest Ecosystem Research Program. Journal of Forestry, 111(3), 175-185. Retrieved from http://DOI: 10.5849/jof.12-059

Cook, J., & Saunders, M. R. (2013). Effect of weed control treatments on total leaf area of plantation black walnut (Juglans nigra). In Proceedings of the 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference (Vols. GTR-NRS-P-117, pp. 43-49). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/44046

Rathfon, R. A., & Saunders, M. R. (2013). Girdle method, herbicide and species influence tree mortality in a post-harvest timber stand improvement. In Proceedings of the 18th Central Hardwood Forest Conference (Vols. GTR-NRS-P-117, pp. 411-419). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/44106

Saunders, M. R., & Arseneault, J. E. (2013). Pre-treatment analysis of the woody vegetation composition and structure on the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment research units. In The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management (Vols. GTR-NRS-P-108, pp. 96-125). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42916

Saunders, M. R., & Swihart, R. S. (2013). Science in the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: accomplishments and the road ahead. In The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management (Vols. GTR-NRS-P-108, pp. 315-332). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42928

Summerfield, K. S., Saunders, M. R., & Lane, J. L. (2013). The Lepidoptera as predictable communities of herbivores: a test of niche assembly using the moth communities of Morgan-Monroe State Forest. In The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management (Vols. GTR-NRS-P-108, pp. 237-252). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42925

Swihart, R. K., Saunders, M. R., Kalb, R. A., & Michler, C. H. (2013). The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management. (Vols. GTR-NRS-P-108). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/42882

Meier, A., & Saunders, M. R. (2013). Assessing internal epicormic dynamics in Quercus alba L. using CT scanning: the strong effects of shoot development and tree growth relative to progeny level genetic variation. Trees - Structure and Function, 27(4), 865-877. Retrieved from http://DOI: 10.1007/s00468-013-0840-x