University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Forest Resources

Rebecca A. Montgomery

MontgomeryPhotoAssociate Professor

Ph.D. 1999, University of Connecticut
Forest ecology, ecophysiology, tropical ecology

Office: 330g  Green Hall
Phone: (612) 624-7249
Fax: (612) 625-5212



 Areas of Interest:

Humans continue to change the environment locally, regionally and globally. We have eliminated and introduced species, changed resource availability, fragmented the landscape and altered climate. Understanding the response of natural systems to these changes requires knowledge of the mechanisms through which organisms respond to the abiotic and biotic environment. Research in my lab focuses on understanding these mechanisms. In particular, we study the role of plant functional traits (e.g., photosynthesis, water loss, leaf anatomy, biomass allocation, allometry, growth, survival) in plant ecology, evolution and response to global change. We are interested in understanding how plants interact with and respond to their environments and the implications of these responses for forest dynamics, forest management, biodiversity, ecosystem function and trait evolution. This broad scope allows us to ask questions pertinent to understanding important topics such as

Current research projects in my lab examine: (1) the potential for projected climate change to alter tree species composition at the southern boreal-temperate forest ecotone (2) the role of physiological traits in adaptive radiation, with a focus on the Hawaiian lobeliads (3) the relative importance of above- versus belowground competition in structuring interactions between shrubs, herbs and trees in forest understories (4) the impact of diverse silvicultural practices on resource availability, regeneration and diversity in red pine forests in northern Minnesota.

Courses taught:

FNRM 2102/5161 Northern Forest Field Ecology, 2 credits.
FNRM 3104/5104 Forest Ecology, 4 credits.

Other links

The Montgomery Lab
Forest Ecology Lab
Cedar Creek LTER
Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Center