• My research interests fall broadly within the disciplines of ecosystem ecology, applied forest ecology, and sustainable agriculture, while encompassing aspects of plant ecophysiology, restoration ecology, ecohydrology, and sustainability science. The overarching question that I seek to address through my research is: What are the key ecological processes that determine an ecosystem’s capacity to sustainably provide diverse benefits to society while maintaining resilience to change, and how can these processes be actively reinforced and strengthened through management? I am particularly interested in the effects of climate change and land use change on the water cycle, and the linkages between plant-water interactions and nutrient and carbon cycles, in both forest and agricultural systems. An important component of my research program involves transferring information about ecological processes across scales—from the individual leaf or whole tree to the ecosystem, watershed, and landscape. I utilize a variety of approaches and tools to address this question, including stable isotopes of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, plant ecophysiological measurements, long-term monitoring of ecosystem processes, micrometeorology, and modeling. Currently active research projects in my lab include: I currently maintain four primary research projects in my lab. The first involves understanding the ecohydrological impacts, feedbacks, and interactions between climate change, land use, and water-carbon-nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems in the northeastern US and at regional scales. The second project is examining the biophysical and socioeconomic implications of increasing the production of food, biofuel, and fiber in New England and the potential for balancing the provisioning of multiple ecosystem service with maintaining the resilience and stability of ecosystems to environmental change. My international research focuses on the ecohydrological impacts of land use and climate change in diverse ecosystems (e.g., montane cloud forests, dry deciduous forests), and assessing the implications for policies such as payments for ecosystem services. Lastly, I am involved in long-term watershed scale research in the Corn Belt region of the Midwestern US to assess the potential for improving water quality, hydrologic regulation, and other ecosystem services by integrating small amounts of perennial vegetation in strategic locations within rowcrop agriculture.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2018 ENSO effects on the transpiration of eastern Amazon trees.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.  373:20180085-20180085. 2018
    2018 Effect of Climatic Variables on Abundance and Dispersal of Lecanosticta acicola Spores and Their Impact on Defoliation on Eastern White Pine.Phytopathology.  108:374-383. 2018
    2016 Response of Quercus velutina growth and water use efficiency to climate variability and nitrogen fertilization in a temperate deciduous forest in the northeastern USA.Tree Physiology.  36:428-443. 2016
    2015 Bioenergy Development Policy and Practice Must Recognize Potential Hydrologic Impacts: Lessons from the Americas.Environmental Management.  56:1295-1314. 2015
    2015 Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas.Environmental Management.  56:1330-1355. 2015
    2015 Scaling from single-point sap velocity measurements to stand transpiration in a multispecies deciduous forest: uncertainty sources, stand structure effect, and future scenariosCanadian Journal of Forest Research.  45:1489-1497. 2015
    2015 Assessing Impacts of Payments for Watershed Services on Sustainability in Coupled Human and Natural SystemsBioScience.  65:579-591. 2015
    2015 Nighttime transpiration in a seasonally dry tropical montane cloud forest environmentTrees - Structure and Function.  29:259-274. 2015
    2015 Hydrological effects of cloud forest conversion in central Veracruz, MexicoBosque.  36:395-407. 2015
    2014 A Scale-Explicit Framework for Conceptualizing the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Land Use ChangesSustainability.  6:8432-8451. 2014
    2014 Water relations and microclimate around the upper limit of a cloud forest in Maui, Hawai'i.Tree Physiology.  34:766-777. 2014
    2014 Synchronous fire activity in the tropical high Andes: an indication of regional climate forcing.Global Change Biology.  20:1929-1942. 2014
    2014 Targeting perennial vegetation in agricultural landscapes for enhancing ecosystem servicesAmerican Journal of Alternative Agriculture Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.  29:101-125. 2014
    2014 Nitrogen and carbon dynamics in prairie vegetation strips across topographical gradients in mixed Central Iowa agroecosystemsAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.  188:1-11. 2014
    2014 Suppression of transpiration due to cloud immersion in a seasonally dry Mexican weeping pine plantationAgricultural and Forest Meteorology.  186:12-25. 2014
    2014 Foggy days and dry nights determine crown-level water balance in a seasonal tropical Montane cloud forest.Plant, Cell and Environment.  37:261-272. 2014
    2014 Foggy days and dry nights determine crown-level water balance in a seasonal tropical montane cloud forestPlant, Cell and Environment.  37:261-272. 2014
    2014 Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapesJournal of Soils and Water Conservation.  69:54-64. 2014
    2013 Native prairie filter strips reduce runoff from hillslopes under annual row-crop systems in Iowa, USAJournal of Hydrology.  477:94-103. 2013
    2013 Variability of the radial profile of sap velocity in Pinus patula from contrasting stands within the seasonal cloud forest zone of Veracruz, MexicoAgricultural and Forest Meteorology.  168:108-119. 2013
    2012 Stable isotopes reveal linkages among ecohydrological processes in a seasonally dry tropical montane cloud forestEcohydrology.  5:779-790. 2012
    2012 Sediment removal by prairie filter strips in row-cropped ephemeral watersheds.Journal of Environmental Quality.  41:1531-1539. 2012
    2011 Influences of woody encroachment and restoration thinning on overstory savanna oak tree growth ratesForest Ecology and Management.  262:1409-1416. 2011
    2011 Ecohydrological advances and applications in plant-water relations research: a reviewJournal of Plant Ecology Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology.  4:3-22. 2011
    2010 Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion.Journal of Environmental Quality.  39:2006-2015. 2010
    2006 Drought effects on fine-root and ectomycorrhizal-root biomass in managed Pinus oaxacana Mirov stands in Oaxaca, Mexico.Mycorrhiza.  16:117-124. 2006

    Principal Investigator On

  • Assisted migration: A viable silvicultural technique for facilitating adaptation of Northern Forest tree  awarded by University of Vermont 2021 - 2024
  • Developing and testing a novel tap designs for increasing sap yield and sugarbush sustainability through research-extension-industry partnerships  awarded by North American Maple Syrup Council Inc. 2020 - 2023
  • Developing and testing a novel tap design for increasing sugarbush sap yields and sustainability through research, extension, and producer partnerships  awarded by US DA, Department of Agriculture 2020 - 2023
  • IRES: Track I: Andean-Amazonian Watershed Experience: Exploring  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2020 - 2023
  • Northern Forest Response to Disturbance  awarded by US DA, United States Forest Service 2017 - 2022
  • Resilience and Vulnerability of Acer Saccharum to Drought, Defoliators, and Tapping: Stress Tresholds  awarded by US DA, United States Forest Service 2020 - 2022
  • Harvesting Sap and Producing Syrup From Trees Other Than Maples, Birches, and Walnuts  awarded by University of Vermont 2018 - 2021
  • Assessment of the Chaga Resources in the White Mountains National Forest (WMNF)  awarded by US DA, United States Forest Service 2017 - 2019
  • CNH: Experimental Frameworks for Evaluating Net Effects of Hydrologic Service Payments on Coupled Socio-Ecohydrologic Systems in Mexico  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2014 - 2019
  • Impact of White Pine Needle Damage and Management Interventions on Forest Health Across the Northeastern United States  awarded by US DA, United States Forest Service 2015 - 2018
  • Sustainability, Ecosystem Services, and Bioenergy Development Across the Americas  awarded by Michigan Technological University 2012 - 2018
  • Acquisition of a PyroCube IsoPrime 100 EA-IRMS for Stable Isotope Research  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2015 - 2017
  • Stable Isotope Miscellaneous  awarded by Miscellaneous Business & Industry 2015 - 2017
  • Ecohydrological Controls of Watershed Response to Land use Change in a Montane Cloud Forest Zone in Veracruz, Central Mexico  awarded by National Science Foundation (NSF) 2011 - 2014
  • Enhancing the Capacity for Sustainable Forest Management and Ecosystems Service Provisioning in Chiapas and Oaxaca  awarded by Michigan Technological University 2011 - 2012
  • Teaching Activities

  • Tropical Ecology Taught course 2021
  • Silviculture Taught course 2020
  • Silviculture Taught course 2020
  • Work Experience Taught course 2020
  • Tropical Ecology Taught course 2020
  • Work Experience Taught course 2020
  • Silviculture Taught course 2019
  • Silviculture Taught course 2019
  • Work Experience Taught course 2019
  • Tropical Ecology Taught course 2019
  • Silviculture Taught course 2018
  • Silviculture Taught course 2018
  • Work Experience Taught course 2017
  • Work Experience Taught course 2017
  • Work Experience Taught course 2017
  • Silviculture Taught course 2016
  • Silviculture Taught course 2016
  • Tropical Ecology Taught course 2016
  • Silviculture Taught course 2015
  • Silviculture Taught course 2015
  • Tropical Ecology Taught course 2015
  • Silviculture Taught course 2014
  • Silviculture Taught course 2014
  • Education And Training

  • B.A. Biology, Carleton College
  • M.S. Forest Ecology, Yale University
  • Ph.D. Ecosystem Ecology, Yale University
  • Full Name

  • Heidi Asbjornsen