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Research Interests
My research interests center on both theoretical questions regarding forest ecology and biogeography, as well as the application of theory to managing and restoring forests.

Zena Ecological Restoration Initiative at Willamette University's Zena Forest

We are undertaking a multi-year oak habitat restoration project at the 1600 acre Zena Forest in the Eola Hills of the central Willamette Valley, 300 acres of which Willamette University owns. Agriculture, development, and forestry activities of Euro-Americans have reduced the area of oak habitat significantly in the Willamette Valley, and most research suggests that less than 10% of oak habitat remains. This is significant because we now recognize the importance of intact upland habitat to overall watershed function, in addition to its importance to a number of threatened or endangered species. Our techniques to restore 340 acres of upland oak savanna, oak woodland, and wet prairie, include a combination of mowing, prescribed fire, invasive species management, thinning, and reintroduction of native plant material. We have established permanent monitoring plots across the site in which we will measure the effectiveness of the restoration activities through intensive monitoring. The ultimate goal is to enhance the fundamentally interrelated and collective functioning of these ecosystem components at the watershed scale.

The Forest Islands Project examines forest structure, composition, and disturbance history of forested island habitats (kipuka), located in a lava field at Newberry National Volcanic Monument in central Oregon. The research will help forest managers assess how landscape fragmentation influences the fire regime, and it will assist them in anticipating unintended ecological change resulting from current management strategies. The research will also contribute to a more explanatory, non-equilbrium theory of species diversity for fragmented landscapes by merging components of island biogeographic theory, the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, and succession theory.


Stanton, S.M. and K.B. Arabas. 2009. Fuel and stand conditions in an isolated, unmanaged forest landscape in Central Oregon. Annals of Forest Science 66(2): 207.

Arabas, K.B., K.S. Hadley, and E.R. Larson. 2006. Fire history of a naturally fragmented landscape in central Oregon. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36(5): 1108-1120.

Pohl, K., K.S. Hadley, and K.B. Arabas. 2006.   Decoupling tree-ring signatures of climate variation, fire, and insect outbreaks in central Oregon.   Tree Ring Research 62(2): 37-50

Pohl, K.A., K.S. Hadley, and K.B. Arabas. 2002. A 545-year drought reconstruction from central Oregon, Physical Geography . 21(4): 302-320.

I have worked on Oak Savanna Restoration in the Willamette Valley. Working with Marion County Public Works, I have prepared a forest history, and I am currently monitoring oak regeneration following prescribed fire.


Arabas, K.B. 2000 . Forest Restoration at Bonesteele Ecological Park, Marion County, Oregon . Report for Marion County Department of Public Works, Parks Department.

I collaborated on a project looking at the Disturbance History of a mixed conifer stand in central Idaho. This project resulted from research done during the 2005 North American Dendroecological Fieldweek (NADEF)


Arabas, K.B., B. Black, L. Lentile, J.Speer, and J. Sparks. 2008. Disturbance history of a mixed conifer stand in central Idaho. Tree Ring Research 64(2):67-80.

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Last Updated 09/05/2012