Carol Wessman
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1987 • Professor Emerita

Ekeley W265 (lab)

Research Interests

My research program seeks to gain insights on the understanding of feedback dynamics between ecosystem structure and function, and the influence of disturbance on trajectories of ecosystem processes. My approach involves field studies, remote sensing methodologies investigating temporal and spatial heterogeneity in ecosystem properties, and landscape and ecosystem modeling. My work incorporates theory in ecosystem and landscape ecology, with a recent emphasis on resilience and complex system theory. Current research projects include: biogeochemical dynamics of woody plant encroachment in the US Southwest, resilience of forest ecosystems under compound disturbance, and social-ecological systems in urban environments.

Selected Publications

Wessman , C.A., S. Archer, L.C. Johnson, and G.P. Asner. 2004. Woodland expansion in US grasslands: Assessing land-cover change and biogeochemical impacts. In: Gutman, G., A. Janetos, and D. Skole. (eds.). Land Change Science: Observing, Monitoring and Understanding Trajectories of Change on the Earth's Surface. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht. In press.

Wessman , C.A. and C.A. Bateson. 2004. Building up with a top-down approach: The role of remote sensing in deciphering functional and structural diversity. In: Wu, J., B. Jones, H. Li, and O. Loucks (eds.). Scaling and Uncertainty Analysis in Ecology: Methods and Applications. Columbia University Press, New York. In press.

Asner, G.P., S.Archer, R.F. Hughes, R.J. Ansley, and C.A. Wessman . 2003. Net changes in regional woody cover and carbon storage in North Texas rangelands, 1937-1999. Global Change Biology 9(3):316-335.

Hudak, A.T., C.A. Wessman , and T.R. Seastedt. 2003. Woody overstory effects on carbon and nitrogen pools in South African savanna. Austral Ecology 28:173-181.

Wessman , C.A. and G.P. Asner. 1998. Ecosystems and the problems of measurement at large spatial scales. Pages 346-371. In: Groffman, P. and M. Pace, eds. Successes, Limitations, and Frontiers in Ecosystem Ecology. Springer-Verlag, New York.