Powers, Matthew


Office Location: 
Snell 403
Email Address: 
Curriculum Vitae: 

PhD, 2008, Forest Science, Michigan Technological University

MS, 2005, Forest Ecology and Management, Michigan Technological University

BS, 2002, Biology, Ball State University

Areas of Interest: 
  • Silviculture in a world of global change and shifting management objectives
  • Forest vegetation dynamics
  • Ecophysiology of different stand structures
  • Ecological forestry
Graduate Students: Alexis Gunsolus (MF Graduate, 2018), Sean Marcum (MS), Carli Morgan (MF), and Neil Williams (PhD)

Research Interests:

Silviculture is a discipline focused on meeting diverse and shifting management objectives ranging from promoting sustainable wood or biomass production to conserving biodiversity, altering wildfire activity, promoting adaptation to climate change, and increasing carbon storage.   My research revolves around understanding how different silvicultural practices influence changes in forest structure and function so we can evaluate potential tradeoffs among these diverse objectives.

My specific research interests focus on understanding how processes related to forest growth, productivity, and stand development respond to management activities or disturbances that create different stand structures.  I am particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms that drive stand development following management activities and other disturbances that create spatial complexity in forests, but I am generally interested in any research that investigates the impacts of different management activities on basic processes that influence patterns of forest growth and stand dynamics.

Recent Publications: 

Handler, S.D., C.W. Swanston, P.R. Butler, L.A .Brandt, M.K. Janowiak, M.D. Powers, and P.D. Dutton. 2012. Climate change vulnerabilities within the forestry sector for the Midwestern United States. In: Midwest Technical Input Report to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. In press.

Powers, MD, Kolka, RK, Bradford, JB, Palik, BJ, Fraver, S, and Jurgensen, MF. 2012. Carbon stocks across a chronosequence of thinned and unmanaged red pine (Pinus resinosa) stands. Ecological Applications 22(4): 1297-1307.

Kolka, RK, Steber, A, Brooks, KN, Perry, CH, and Powers, MD. 2012. Harvest season, soil texture and landscape position effects on soil compaction in northern Minnesota aspen harvests.  Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 29(1): 21-25.

Powers, MD, Kolka, RK, Palik, BJ, McDonald, R, and Jurgensen, M. 2011. Long-term management implications on carbon storage in Lake States forests.  Forest Ecology and Management. 262: 424-431.

Powers, MD, Pregitzer, KS, Palik, BJ, Webster, CR. 2011. The physiological basis for regeneration response to variable retention harvest treatments in three pine species. Forestry. 84(1): 13-22.

Powers, MD, Palik, BJ, Bradford, JB, Fraver, S, Webster, CR. 2010. Thinning method and intensity influence long-term mortality trends in a red pine forest. Forest Ecology and Management. 260: 1138-1148.

Powers, MD, Pregitzer, KS, Palik, BJ, and Webster, CR. 2010. Wood δ13C, δ18O, and radial growth responses of residual red pine to variable retention harvesting. Tree Physiology. 30(3): 326-334.

Powers, MD, Pregitzer, KS, Palik, BJ, and Webster, CR. 2009. Water relations of pine seedlings in contrasting overstory environments. Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 1442-1448.

Powers, MD, and Nagel, LM. 2009. Pennsylvania sedge cover, forest management, and deer density influence tree regeneration dynamics in a northern hardwood forest. Forestry. 82(3): 241-254.

Powers, MD, Webster, CR, Pregitzer, KS, and Palik, BJ. 2009. Spatial dynamics of radial growth and growth efficiency in residual Pinus resinosa following aggregated retention harvesting.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 39(1): 109-117.

Powers, MD, Pregitzer, KS, and Palik, BJ. 2008. Physiological performance of three pine species provides evidence for gap partitioning.  Forest Ecology and Management. 256: 2127-2135.