Senior Project Advisor

Wallin, David O.

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2002


Ecology, Biotic processes, Abiotic processes, Windthrow, temperate coniferous forests


The study of how biotic and abiotic processes function and interact within the biosphere is fundamental to the field of ecology. In particular, the field of landscape ecology focuses on the relationship between patterns and process at the landscape level. Windthrow is an important, though unfortunately under-studied agent of disturbance in the temperate coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. Along with wildfire, windthrow is a dominant force in shaping the structure of the region's forested landscapes, resulting in visible vegetation patterns at the landscape level. The present study involved the development of a windthrow simulation model for the Bull Run Basin in the Western Cascades of Oregon. The purpose of this model was to

develop a simple rule-based representation of the process of windthrow, such that a greater understanding of wind throw can be obtained through observation of predicted wind throw in relation to variable landscape conditions. The model approximated levels and spatial distribution of wind throw observed for several periods in the landscape, demonstrating that a simple rule-based model can capture the general trends of a highly complex process. Further studies could use this methodology to develop similar rule-based models for other ecological processes, perhaps linking several models together to observe emergent behavior at the landscape level.


Environmental Sciences

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Windfall (Forestry)--Environmental aspects--Oregon--Bull Run River Watershed; Landscape ecology-Oregon--Bull Run River Watershed; Windfall (Forestry)--Cascade Range--Simulation methods

Geographic Coverage

Bull Run River Watershed (Or.); Cascade Range


student projects; term papers




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Rights Statement