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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Puettmann

Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Puettmann

© Maureen Puettmann
Oregon State University
Forest Ecology
External Senior Fellow
January 2021 - December 2025


Prof. Dr. Klaus J. Puettmann is Edmund Hayes Professorship in Silviculture Alternatives in the Department of Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University. He received his Diploma (Forstwissenschaften) Science) from the Albert-Ludwig University, Freiburg, Germany in 1986 and his Ph.D. (Silviculture, Forest Modeling) in 1990 from Oregon State University. He worked as a faculty member at the University of Minnesota from 1992 to 2000 and at OSU since 2001, with extended sabbatical visits as DFG Mercator Guest Professor at the University of Freiburg and Charles Bullard Fellow at Harvard University. His major interest is in silviculture and forest ecology. He has been working on projects related to regeneration and stand density management, with a special focus on utilizing a better understanding of ecological relationships in developing new silvicultural approaches in diverse structured forests. A recent emphasis includes an understanding how forests adapt to changing conditions and how we can manage to facilitate such adaptations. He collaborated with colleagues and students all over the world, has published 2 books and more than 100 referred publications, and reviewed proposals for 14 international funding agencies and manuscripts for 45 journals. He is an International Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry and an Elected Member of the Italian Academy of Forest Sciences.

Selected Publications

  • Puettmann, K.J., K. D. Coates, and C. Messier. 2009. Critique of Silviculture: Managing for Complexity. Island Press, Washington DC.; Recipient of the Bulkley Valley Research Center for Natural Resources Research and Management’s 2013 Jim Pojar Award. Translated and available in Spanish and Persian.
  • Messier, C., Puettmann, K.J. and D. Coates (edts.) 2013. Managing Forests as Complex Adaptive Systems: Building Resilience to the Challenge of Global Change. Earthscan, London.
  • Puettmann, K.J., L. Parrott, and C. Messier. 2016. Teaching complex adaptive systems science in natural resource management: Examples from forestry. Natural Sciences Education 45(1) doi:10.4195/nse2016.04.0009.
  • Puettmann, K.J., Wilson, S. McG., Baker, S.C., Donoso, P.J., Droessler, L., Amente, G., Harvey, B.D., Knoke, T., Lu, Y. Nocentini, S., Putz, F.E., Yoshida, T., and Bauhus, J. 2015. Silvicultural alternatives to conventional even-aged forest management - what limits global adoption? Forest Ecosystems 2:8 doi:10.1186/s40663-015-0031-x
  • Puettmann, K.J. 2011. Silvicultural challenges and options in the context of global change – “simple” fixes and opportunities for new management approaches. Journal of Forestry. 109(11): 321-331.

FRIAS Research Project

Developing and managing new forest ecosystems in times of global change

In collaboration with Professors Jürgen Bauhus and Christian Messier (University of Quebec) I will write a book in which we analyze how the complexity of natural systems can be employed and fostered to develop and maintain adaptable, resilient, and productive forest ecosystems. We specifically focus on developing a theoretical foundation for silvicultural decisions by integrating theories from complexity science and forest ecology. In the context of global change, we propose that adaptive capacity has to be viewed as an increasingly important supportive ecosystem service that requires more attention in the future. Managing to sustain or increase adaptive capacity provides a novel challenge as forest dynamics are increasingly influenced by drivers associated with human caused global change. This trend has great implications for silviculture, as traditional silvicultural practices are heavily emphasizing natural influences and trends. We propose that the integration of theories from complexity science and forest ecology can provide provides guidance and suggestions how to overcome this limitation. To accomplish this, we will interact with a variety of faculty from the biological sciences, especially faculty in the emerging field “Complexity of nature and future ecosystems”, as such interactions will base the work on a broader set of expertise necessary to accomplish our goals.