Stacy Clark

Stacy  Clark
Stacy Clark 
Name: Stacy Clark 
Title: Research Forester
Unit: Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management (4157)
Phone: 865-974-0932
865-974-4714 - Employee Fax


Location Information

USDA-Forest Service
University of Tennessee
Dept. of Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries

Knoxville, TN 37996
Ellington Plant Science Bldg., Room 274
Knoxville, TN 37996


Research Information


  • Doctorate of Philosophy, Oklahoma State University, December 2003, Plant Science, Dissertation title “Stand Dynamics of an Old-growth Forest in the Cross Timbers of Oklahoma”
  • Master of Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, May 1999, Forestry, Thesis title “Seedling Quality and Genetics in Nursery and Field Plantings of Northern Red Oak”
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, August 1996, Forest Resource Management

Civic & Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Society of American Foresters since 1997
  • Co-Chair, Mountain Lakes Chapter, Society of American Foresters, 2006
  • Chair, Mountain Lakes Chapter, Society of American Foresters, 2007
  • Member, Natural Areas Association since 2004
  • Member, American Chestnut Foundation since 2006
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, The University of Tennessee, Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries since 2007
  • Panel member, The University of Tennessee’s Sustainability Careers Panel, April 3, 2012
  • Forest Service Liaison, Southern Appalachian Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, since June 2012

Current Research:

  • Restoration of American chestnut, including natural growth strategies and how forest management affects chestnut survival and growth
  • Natural disturbance and successional processes in upland hardwood forests by examining and analyzing tree-rings (i.e., dendrochronology)
  • Forest management strategies, including harvesting, fire, and herbicide treatments, to restore or maintain oak species
  • Forest nursery production of oak species and American chestnut to examine genetic differences and methods to produce the highest quality seedling for planting in the forest
  • Determining the best forest management options for planting oak species in forests where natural oak regeneration is lacking
  • Examining genetic differences in field performance of planted oak and American chestnut families

Why is This Important

American chestnut was once a prolific tree species in the eastern United States and was highly valued for its wood, nuts, and aesthetics. The tree has been virtually extirpated by an exotic pathogen from Asia, the chestnut blight. Advancements in genetic breeding for resistance to blight are being achieved, but no strategy exists for the best methods to plant and maintain chestnut in natural forest communities where it once thrived.

Other hardwood species, such as those in the oak genus (Quercus) are decreasing drastically due to changes in disturbance regimes. Through analysis of tree rings, we can reconstruct forest history. These data show that we have an abundance of older oak forests that are going to lose the oak component, decrease in tree diversity, and be less attractive to wildlife species if no management action is taken. Humans can create hospitable environments to maintain or restore oak species through active forest management and through tree planting of oak seedlings grown in a tree nursery. These oak seedlings can be improved in quality through genetic selections.

Future Research

  • Development of a quality and cost-efficient American chestnut seedling for planting by growing them in containers using the Root Pruning Method
  • Natural and planted oak seedling response to uneven-aged forest management, the Femelschlag, or irregular group selection on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee

Featured Publications

  • Hart, J.L., Stacy L. Clark, Scott J. Torreano, Megan L. Buchanan. 2012. Vegetation patterns and dendroecology of an old-growth Quercus forest on the tablelands of the Cumberland Plateau, USA. Forest Ecololgy and Management 266: 11-24.
  • Clark, S.L., Schlarbaum, S.E., Saxton, A.M. and Hebard, F.V. 2011. Making history: Field testing of blight-resistant American chestnut (Castanea dentata) in the southern region. In: (Fei, S., Lhotka, J.M., Stringer, J.W., Gottschalk, K.W. Miller, G.W. eds.) Proceedings, 17th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2010, April 5-7, Lexington, KY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-78. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 656-657.
  • Rhoades, Chuck, David Loftis, Jeffrey Lewis, and Stacy Clark. 2009. The influence of silvicultural treatments and site conditions on American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedling establishment in eastern Kentucky, U.S.A. Forest Ecology and Management 258:1211-1218.
  • Clark, S.L., C.J. Schweitzer, S.E. Schlarbaum, L.D. Dimov, and F.V. Hebard. 2009. Nursery quality and first-year response of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedlings planted in the southeastern United States. Tree Planters’ Notes 53(2): 13-21.
  • Clark, S.L. and S.W. Hallgren. 2003. Dynamics of oak (Quercus marilandica and Q. stellata) reproduction in an old-growth Cross Timbers forest. Southeastern Naturalist 2(4):559-574.

Collaborative Research:

Daniel Boone National Forest: Maintaining habitat diversity, sustaining oak systems, and reducing risk of defoliation and resulting mortality from Gypsy moth and oak decline on the Daniel Boone National Forest; Silvicultural Approaches and Their Operational Dimensions University of Tennessee's Tree Improvement Program and Jack Daniel's Distillery; management recommendations and genetic testing USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry and the National Park Service; determining stress factors affecting development of the butternut canker

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Stacy Clark

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