Matt Betts



I study the ways that forest landscape composition and pattern influence animal behavior, species distributions and ecosystem function. As humans are one of the primary drivers of landscape characteristics globally, much of my work is applied and focused on management and conservation, particularly the question of ways of optimizing potential trade-offs between biodiversity and human forest uses. However, understanding mechanisms is key to generalization, so a central part of my research program is basic in nature and links landscape ecology to behavioral ecology, physiology, and evolution. The complexity of ecological systems requires powerful tools that extend beyond ecology into other disciplines - particularly mathematics and computer science. Members of my lab engage actively in such interdisciplinary collaborations.

Selected publications

Benjamin T. Phalan, Joseph M. Northrup, Zhiqiang Yang, Robert L. Deal, Josée S. Rousseau, Thomas A. Spies, Matthew G. Betts (2019) Impacts of the Northwest Forest Plan on forest composition and bird populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1813072116

Betts, M.G., Wolf, C., Ripple, W.J., Phalan, B., Millers, K.A., Duarte, A., Butchart, S.H.M. and Levi, T. (2017) Global forest loss disproportionately erodes biodiversity in intact landscapes. Nature advance online publication. doi:10.1038/nature23285

Frey, S.J.K., Hadley, A.S., Johnson, S. L., Schulze, M., Jones, J. A. and Betts, M. G. (2016) Spatial models reveal the microclimatic buffering capacity of old-growth forestsScience Advances 2: e1501392.

Kormann, U., Scherber, C., Tscharntke, T., Klein, N., Larbig, Valente, J.M., Hadley, A.S. and Betts, M.G. (2016) Corridors restore animal-mediated pollination in fragmented tropical forest landscapesProceedings of the Royal Society Series B. 283: 1823.

Root, H. and Betts M.G. (2016) Managing moist temperate forests for bioenergy and biodiversityJournal of Forestry 114: 66-74.

Betts, M.G., Hadley, A.S. and Kress, W.J. (2015) Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plantProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 112: 3433–3438.

Betts, M.G., Fahrig, L., Hadley, A.S., Halstead, K.E., Robinson, W.D. Bowman, J., Wiens, J.A., and Lindenmayer, D.B. (2014) A species-centered approach for uncovering generalities in organism responses to habitat loss and fragmentationEcography 37: 517-527.

Betts, M.G., Verschuyl, J., Giovanini, J., Stokely, T. and Kroll, A.J. (2013) Initial experimental effects of intensive forest management on avian abundanceForest Ecology and Management 310: 1036-1044.

Betts, M.G., Forbes, G.J. and Diamond, A.W. (2007) Thresholds in songbird occurrence in relation to landscape structureConservation Biology 21: 1046-1058.