Michael Walters, Ph.D.

Michael Walters

Associate Professor, Forest Ecology

210C Natural Resources Building

(517) 355-1762


Ph.D. in Forestry, University of Minnesota, 1994
M.S. in Biology,University of Utah, 1986
B.S. in Biology, Washington State University, 1983  

    Research Interest

    Michael Walters is a forest ecologist with basic and applied interests in the mechanisms underlying forest pattern and process at scales ranging from communities to landscapes. Recognition of Walters expertise in this area includes over 1,950 citations of his peer reviewed articles, invited presentations at national (Ecological Society of America, Annual Meeting) and international symposia (The Fourth New Phytologist Symposium, Montpellier, France), and seats on advisory boards and committees including, British Columbia Forest Productivity Council, Forest Renewal British Columbia Competitive Grant Review Committee and the Michigan DNR Forest Cultivation Team. Working in a wide range of biomes Walters has gained extensive experience examining the mechanism governing forest succession, forest productivity and spatio-temporal patterns of forest dynamics. Some of Walters’ current projects include “Climate and site effects on the productivity of European larch and red pine”, “Substrate, seed dispersal and resource limitations to hardwood regeneration dynamics in red pine plantations”, Spatio-temporal patterns of forest dynamics in managed and unmanaged sub-boreal spruce-forests with and without Innotus tomentosus root disease” and “The factors that reinforce deer caused shifts in vegetation composition and structure”. Through his appointment as a PERM (Partnerships in Ecosystem Research and Management) Assistant Professor of Forest Ecology with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University, Walters has focused his research efforts on forest ecology problems of management concern. Evidence of management’s interest in his research includes financial and in kind support from a diverse set of stakeholders including Mead Corporation, International Paper, Sand County Foundation, Michigan DNR, and the US Forest Service.

    Selected Publications

      Millington JDA, Walters MB, Matonis MS, Liu J. (In press). Modeling for forest management synergies and trade-offs: Tree regeneration, timber and wildlife. Ecological Modeling.

      Millington JDA, Walters MB, Matonis MS, Liu J. (In press). Filling the gap: A compositional gap regeneration model for managed northern hardwood forests. Ecological Modeling.

      Walters MB, Gerlach JP. (In press). Intraspecific growth and functional leaf trait responses to natural soil resource gradients for conifer species with contrasting leaf habit. Tree Physiology

      Jerabkova, L, Prescott, CE, Titus BD, Hope GD, Walters MB (2011) A meta-analysis of the effects of clearcut and variable-retention harvesting on soil nitrogen fluxes in boreal and temperate forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41: 1852-1870.

      Millington JDA, Walters MB, Matonis MS, Laurent EJ, Hall KR, Liu JG (2011) Combined long-term effects of variable tree regeneration and timber management on forest songbirds and timber production. Forest Ecology and Management 262: 718-729.

      Matonis MS, Walters MB, Millington JDA (2011) Gap-, stand-, and landscape-scale factors contribute to poor sugar maple regeneration after timber harvest. Forest Ecology and Management 262: 286-298.

      Randall JA, Walters MB (2011) Deer density effects on vegetation in aspen forest understories over site productivity and stand age gradients. Forest Ecology and Management 261: 408-415.

      Millington JDA, Walters MB, Matonis MS, Liu JG (2010) Effects of local and regional landscape characteristics on wildlife distribution across managed forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1102-1110.

      Kobe RK, Iyer, M, Walters, MB. 2010. Optimal partitioning theory revisited: Non-structural carbohydrates dominate root mass responses to nitrogen. Ecology 91: 166-179.

      Millington JDA, Walters MB, Matonis MS Liu, JG. 2010. Effects of local and regional landscape characteristics on wildlife distribution across managed forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259: 1102-1110.