Bryan A. Black
Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Science
Long-term relationships among productivity, growth, and climate; climate reconstruction; linkages among marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems; application of dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) to growth increments of fish, mollusk, and coral species; forest ecology and influence of terrestrial processes on the nearshore environment
Trees are living chronometers of the environment, faithfully recording histories of climate and forest disturbances in the properties of their annual rings. Worldwide, thousands of chronologies have been developed, extending unbroken for hundreds or even thousands of years. Beyond trees, a wide range of aquatic organisms including fish, bivalves, corals, and even some marine mammals form annual increments - and can be surprisingly long-lived. Members of several fish species have been aged at more than 100 years while at least one species of marine clam lives to be more than 500.
Originally trained as a forest ecologist, I apply techniques developed by dendrochronologists (tree-ring scientists) to generate growth-increment chronologies from the growth increments of marine and freshwater species. The need for such long-term data is especially pressing considering the oceans’ influence on global climate, the tremendous pressures of human use on marine ecosystems, and the scarcity of observational records. Chronologies are used to:
-establish long-term patterns in growth and productivity well as their relationships to climate
-address long-term impacts of human use
-hind-cast climate prior to the start of instrumental records
-describe inter-relationships across diverse species and among marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems
I also maintain work in terrestrial ecology, using dendrochronology as a tool for reconstructing histories of climate and forest disturbance. Other research interests include the use of original land surveys and archaeological records to describe the composition of forests prior to European settlement and the influences of Native American populations.
B.M. Gillanders, B.A. Black, M.G. Meekan, and M.A. Morrison. 2012. Climate effects on the growth of a temperate reef fish from the Southern Hemisphere: a biochronological approach. Marine Biology. doi 10.1007/s00227-012-1913-x.
B.A. Black, I.D. Schroeder, W.J. Sydeman, S.J. Bograd, B.K. Wells, and F.B. Schwing. 2011. Winter and summer upwelling modes and their biological importance in the California Current Ecosystem. Global Change Biology. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02422.x
B.A. Black, R.J. Allman, I.D. Schroeder, and M.J. Schirripa. 2011. Multidecadal otolith growth histories for red and gray snapper in the northern Gulf of Mexico, USA. Fisheries Oceanography. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2011.00588x
M.E. Matta, B.A. Black, and T.K. Wilderbuer. 2010. Climate-driven synchrony in otolith growth-increment chronologies for three Bering Sea flatfish species. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 413:137-145.
B.A. Black, J. Dunham, B. Blundon, D. Zima and M. Raggon. 2010. Spatial variability in growth-increment chronologies of long-lived freshwater mussels: implications for climate impacts and reconstructions. Ecoscience 17:240-250.
B.A. Black, I. Schroeder, W. Sydeman, S. Bograd, and P. Lawson. 2010. Wintertime ocean conditions synchronize rockfish growth and seabird reproduction in the central California Current Ecosystem. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 67:1149-1158.
B.A. Black, D.C. Shaw, and J.K. Stone. 2010. Impacts of Swiss needle cast on overstory Douglas-fir of the western Oregon Coast Range. Forest Ecology and Management. 259:1673-1680.
J. Carilli, R. Norris, B.A. Black, and S. Walsh. 2009. Century-scale records of coral growth rates indicate that local stressors reduce coral thermal tolerance threshold. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02043.x
B.A. Black, C.A. Copenheaver, D. Frank, M.J. Stuckey, and R.E. Kormanyos. 2009. Multi-proxy reconstructions of northeastern Pacific sea surface temperature data from trees and Pacific geoduck. Palaeoclimatology, Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology. 278:40-47.
B.A. Black. 2009. Climate-driven synchrony across tree, bivalve, and rockfish growth-increment chronologies of the northeast Pacific. Marine Ecology- Progress Series. 378:37-46.
B.A. Black, GW Boehlert, and MM Yoklavich. 2008. Establishing climate-growth relationships for yelloweye rockfish in the northeast Pacific using a dendrochronologial approach. Fisheries Oceanography 5:368-379.
B.A. Black, J.J. Colbert, and N. Pederson. 2008. Relationships between lifespan and radial growth rate within North American tree species. Ecoscience 15:349-357. (Ecoscience feature article)
K.B. Arabas, B.A. Black, J. Speer, B. Amos, L. Lentile, K. Lewis. 2008. Disturbance history of a mixed-conifer stand in north central Idaho, USA. Tree Ring Research 64:67-80.
B.A. Black, C.M. Ruffner, and M.D. Abrams. 2006. Native American influences on the forest composition of the Allegheny Plateau, northwest Pennsylvania. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 36:1266-1275.
B.A. Black, G.W. Boehlert, and M.M. Yoklavich. 2005. Using tree-ring crossdating techniques to validate annual growth increments in long-lived fishes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 62:2277-2284.
B.A. Black and M.D. Abrams. 2003 Use of boundary-line growth patterns as a basis for dendroecological release criteria. Ecological Applications 13:1733-1749.
B.A. Black and M.D. Abrams. 2001. Influences of Native Americans and surveyor biases on metes and bounds witness-tree distribution. Ecology 82(9):2574-2586.