Photo of Dale Brockway

Dale Brockway

Emeritus Scientist
521 Devall Drive
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
Phone: 334-826-8700 x128
Fax: 334-821-0037

Current Research

Forest ecosystem ecology, fire ecology, restoration ecology and silviculture. Quantify the dynamic interactions between ecological processes and natural disturbance regimes, specifically fire as a regulator of ecosystem function, structure, pattern and composition. Development of technologies useful in restoration of degraded ecosystems to a functional status compatible with achieving the multiple goals and objectives of natural resource managers. Analysis of the management impacts, resulting from application of silviculture alternatives, on ecosystem processes, biological diversity and sustainable productivity in longleaf pine forests.

Research Interests

Ecosystem restoration; ecosystem recovery from disturbance; uneven-aged forest management through selection silviculture.

Past Research

Restoring fire as an ecological process in shortgrass prairies; restoring grassland savannas from degraded pinyon-juniper woodlands; forest plant diversity at local and landscape scales in the Cascade Mountains; ecological classification and management of forest plant associations in the western Cascades; forest fertilization and nutrient cycling through land application of biosolids and wastewater.

Why This Research is Important

During the earlier period of timber exploitation, longleaf pine occupancy throughout the South was reduced from 93 to less than 3 million acres. Since this time, longleaf pine forests have come to be recognized as being among the most species-rich plant communities outside the tropics and yet one of the most endangered of terrestrial ecosystems in North America. In recent times, broad-scale collaborative efforts have developed which are aimed at restoring longleaf pine on several million new acres and improving the condition of longleaf pine ecosystems on many existing acres. The research undertaken by RWU-SRS-4158 "Restoring and Managing Longleaf Pine Ecosystems" focuses on providing new and improved methods, techniques and tools that will facilitate the restoration of longleaf pine ecosystems and provide guidance for sustainably managing longleaf pine forests for a broad range of products and services.


Ph.D. in Forest Ecology and Forest Soils, 1979
Michigan State University
M.S. in Forest Ecology and Silviculture, 1975
Michigan State University
B.S. in Biology: Ecology and Physiology, 1973
Michigan State University
A.S. in Conservation Biology, 1971
Delta College

Professional Experience

Research Ecologist, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Research Ecologist, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Forest & Grassland Ecologist, Rocky Mountain Region, USDA Forest Service
Research Plant Ecologist, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service
Forest Planning and Policy Development Section Leader, Forest Management Division, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
Forest Soil Scientist, Environmental Protection Bureau, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
Forest Ecologist, Pacific Northwest Region, USDA Forest Service
Forest Soil Scientist, Environmental Protection Bureau, Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources

Professional Organizations

  • Society for Ecological Restoration, Member (2001—Current)
  • Ecological Society of America, Lifetime Member (1988—Current)
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member (1975—Current)

Featured Publications and Products


Research Highlights

Comparing Reproduction Techniques for Longleaf Pine Forests (2014)
SRS-2014-138 Methods of even-aged management for longleaf pine are well known, but techniques for uneven-aged management have been poorly understood and largely untested. New approaches to uneven-aged management increase the number of options available to forest managers, so a broader range of resource values and interests can be considered when recovering and sustaining these unique ecosystems.

Dynamics of longleaf pine cone production in the southeastern U.S. (2017)
SRS-2017-134 Longleaf pine cone production is the result of complex interactions between trees and their environment. Multiscale entropy reflects the complex flow of information among these many ecosystem parts.

Is the relationship between tree height and diameter consistent across species and ranges? (2017)
SRS-2017-163 Scaling exponents reveal differences in longleaf pine height-diameter relationships across its range, possibly due to water availability. Tree species adapted to swampy conditions have developed growth forms that result in deviations from expected relationships.

New Management Technique Offers Promise for Longleaf Pine Forests and Beyond (2010)
SRS-2010-012 SRS researchers and partners developed a new technique for managing longleaf pine forests called the Proportional-B (Pro-B) Method. Results show forest personnel can easily learn and apply Pro-B and achieve desired outcomes in the forest.

Restoration Treatments for the Post-Hurricane Recovery of Longleaf Pine (2012)
SRS-2012-06 Scientists recommend herbicide use to control hardwoods in plantings of longleaf pine after hurricane damage

Selection silviculture can be well-suited to longleaf pine forests (2017)
SRS-2017-135 Uneven-aged silviculture continues to show promise as an effective way to regenerate longleaf pine stands. Uneven-aged silviculture also maintains continuous canopy cover that aids in the control of woody competitors and supports an array of resource values.