Peter Jentsch | Applied Math, University of Waterloo
Multiple Disturbances In Forest Ecosystems
As anthropogenic climate change begins to perturb the state of our planet, it is more important than ever that we understand how multiple disturbances affect the resilience and resistance of ecosystems. Mountain pine beetle, in it’s most recent outbreak, affected over one million acres of British Columbia forests annually. The size of recent outbreaks have been attributed to human fire suppression and climate change by many researchers. Transport of firewood has introduced many invasive species to North American forests, and some of them have been catastrophic to our ecosystems. This thesis seeks to understand the complex behaviors produced by simple processes on structured populations, and the statistical behaviors of these populations as they undergo transitions to new stable states in the presence of perturbations. The results of this work could be used to inform policy decisions on fire suppression and control of pests in Canadian forests and other ecosystems.