Brian Buma photo
Ph.D. • Assistant Professor
Department of Integrative Biology

Mailing Address:
Department of Integrative Biology
Campus Box 171
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1151 Arapahoe
SI 4101
Denver, CO 80204

Office Hours:

By Appointment Only, please email the instructor

Expertise Areas:
Disturbance and landscape ecology, forest ecosystems, succession, and spatial ecology.

University of Colorado, Boulder - Ph.D (2013)  Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Western Washington University - M.A. (2005)  Science Education
Western Washington University - B.S. (2003)  Biology, minor i Chemistry

Dr. Buma is interested in the process of change in natural systems. In particular, his work focuses on disturbances like fire, wind, and landslides, and the subsequent change in species composition and ecosystem functioning. His work spans from Alaska to Chile, generally focusing on high elevation and high latitude forested systems, species migration, and carbon/water cycling. As a National Geographic Explorer, he is also interested in science communication, historical ecology, and telling interesting stories to the public about the natural world.

Integrating Subjective and Objective Dimensions of Resilience in Fire-Prone Landscapes 

Philip E Higuera Alexander L Metcalf Carol Miller Brian Buma David B McWethyElizabeth C Metcalf Zak Ratajczak Cara R Nelson Brian C Chaffin Richard C Stedman Sarah McCaffrey Tania Schoennagel Brian J Harvey Sharon M HoodCourtney A Schultz Anne E Black David Campbell Julia H Haggerty Robert E KeaneMeg A Krawchuk Judith C Kulig Rebekah Rafferty Arika Virapongse

BioScience, Volume 69, Issue 5, May 2019, Pages 379–388,
Published: 08 May 2019

Emergent freeze and fire disturbance dynamics in temperate rainforests

Wiley Online Library, First published: 29 March 2019

Authors: Brian BumaEnric BatlloriSarah BisbingAndres HolzSari C. SaundersAllison L. BidlackMegan K. CreutzburgDominick A. DellaSalaDave GregovichPaul HennonJohn KrapekMax A. MoritzKyla Zaret

Buma B, Thompson T (2019) Long-term exposure to more frequent disturbances increases baseline carbon in some ecosystems: Mapping and quantifying the disturbance frequency-ecosystem
C relationship. PLoS ONE 14(2): e0212526.

Brian BumaIntegrating subjective and objective dimensions of resilience in fire-prone landscapes in BioScience. Managing and responding to fires is both an ecological and a sociological problem, and requires an integrated look at social-ecological systems in a truly holistic way.  This publication unites traditional disturbance/fire ecologists with sociologists in a team effort to unite the disciplines and provide a way forward for communities who need to adapt to fires in their midst.

Large, climate-sensitive soil carbon stocks mapped with pedology-informed machine learning in the North Pacific coastal temperate rainforests. McNicol G, D'Amore D, Sanborn P, Saunders S, Giesbrecht IJW, Gonzalez Arriola S, Bidlack A, Butman D, Buma B. Environmental Research Letters.  

Sommerfeld A, Senf C, Buma B, D’Amato AW, Despres T, Diaz-Hormazabal, Fraver S, Frelich LE, Gutierrez AG, Hart SJ, Harvey BJ, He HS, Hlasny T, Holz A, Kitzberger T, Kulakowski D, Lindenmeyer D, Mori AS, Muller J, Paritsis J, Perry GLW, Stephens S, Svoboda M, Tuner MG, Veblen TT, Seidl R. Patterns and drivers of recent disturbances across the temperate forest biome.  Nature Communications.  In press.

Buma B.  2018.  Transitional climate mortality: Slower warming may result in increased climate-induced mortality in some systems.  Ecosphere. 9(3): e02170.
 Krapek J, Buma B.  2018. Persistence following punctuated range extension: limited dispersal of migrating tree despite habitat ahead of its range.  Journal of Ecology 106: 911-924.
Buma B, Costanza JK, Riitters K. 2017.  Determining the size of a complete disturbance landscape:  Multi-scale, continental analysis of forest change.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 189: 642.

 Krapek J, Hennon PE, D’Amore DV, Buma B.  2017. Despite available habitat, migration of climate-threatened tree appears punctuated with past pulse tied to Little Ice Age climate period.  Diversity and Distributions.  23(12): 1381-1392.

 Gill N, Kulakowski D, Sangermano F, Buma B. 2017. Populus tremuloides seedling establishment: An underexplored vector for forest type conversion after multiple disturbances.  Forest Ecology and Management.  404: 156-164.
 Riitters K, Costanza JK, Buma B.  2017. Scaling domains of tree cover disturbance patterns in North America, 2000 – 2012.  Ecological Indicators.
 Buma B., Livneh B. 2017. Key landscape and biotic indicators of watersheds sensitivity to forest disturbance. Environmental Research Letters.  12:074028
 Buma B, Bisbing S, Krapek K, Wright G.  2017. A foundation of ecology re-discovered:  100 years of succession on the William S Cooper permanent plots shows importance of contingency in community development. Ecology.  98(6): 1513-1523.
 Buma B, Hennon PE, Harrington CA, Popkin JR, Krapek J, Lamb M, Oakes LE, Saunders SC, Zeglen S.  2017. Emerging broad-scale mortality driven by climate warming and loss of snowpack.  Global Change Biology.  23(7): 2903-2914.
 Bidlack A, Bisbing S, Buma B, D’Amore DV, Hennon P, Huette T, Krapek J, Mulvey R, Oakes LE. 2017. Alternative interpretation and scale-based context for No evidence of recent (1995-2013) decrease in yellow-cedar in Alaska (Barrett and Pattison 2017).  Canadian Journal of Forest Research.  47(8): 1145-1151.

 Fellman JB, Buma B, Hood E, Edwards RT, D’Amore DV.  2017. Linking LiDAR with streamwater biogeochemistry in coastal temperate rainforest watersheds.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.  74(6):801-811
 Buma B, Krapek J, Edwards RT.  2016. Watershed-scale forest biomass distribution in a perhumid temperate rainforest as driven by topographic, soil, and disturbance variables.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research.  46(6): 844-854.

 Mayer AL, Buma B, Davis A, Gagne SA, Loudermilk EL, Scheller R, Schmiegelow F, Wiersma Y, Franklin J.  2016. How landscape ecology informs global land change science and policy. BioScience.  66(6): 458-469.

 Kranabetter JM, KK McLauchlan, SK Enders, JM Fraterrigo, PE Higuera, JL Morris, EB Rastetter, R Barnes, B Buma, DG Gavin, LM Gerhart, L Gillson, P Hietz, MC Mack, B McNeil, S Perakis.  2016.  A framework to assess biogeochemical response to ecosystem disturbance using nutrient partitioning ratios.  Ecosystems.  19: 387-395.

 Krapek J, Buma B.  2015.  Yellow-cedar:  Climate change and natural history at odds.  Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.  13: 280-281.

 Buma B, Livneh B.  2015. Potential effects of forest disturbances and management on water resources in a warmer climate.  Forest Science.  61: 895-903.

 Buma B, Barrett T.  2015.  Signs of disturbance disequilibrium and directional change in the world’s largest temperate rainforest.  Global Change Biology.  21: 3445-3454.

 Buma B.  2015. Disturbance interactions:  Characterization, prediction, and the potential for cascading effects.  Ecosphere.  6:art70.

 Livneh B., J.S. Deems, B. Buma, J.J. Barsugli, D. Schneider, N.P. Molotch, K. Wolter, and C.A. Wessman, 2015. Catchment response to bark beetle outbreak in the upper Colorado River basin. Journal of Hydrology.  523: 196-210.
 Buma B, Johnson AC. 2015.  Disturbance interactions mediated by topography:  Wind exposure, landslide susceptibility, and yellow cedar decline in southeast Alaskan temperate rainforests.  Geomorphology.  228, 504-511.
 Buma B, Poore B, Wessman CA.  2014.  Interacting disturbances and their effect on carbon, charcoal, and further implications for carbon sequestration in forests.  Ecosystems.  17(6): 947-959.
 Buma B, Hennon PE, Bidlack AL, Baichtal JF, Ager TA, Streveler G.  2014.  Correspondence regarding “The problem of conifer species migration lag in the Pacific Northwest region since the last glaciation” by Elias, S.A., 2013, Quaternary Science Reviews 77, 53-69.  
 McLauchlan, K.K., P.E. Higuera, D.G. Gavin, S.S. Perakis, M.M. Mack, H. Alexander, J. Battles, F. Biondi, B. Buma, D. Colombaroli, S.K. Enders, D.R. Engstrom, F.S. Hu, J. Marlon, J. Marshall, M. McGlone, J. Morris, L. Nave, B.N. Shuman, E.A.H. Smithwick, D. Urrego, D. Wardle, C. Williams, and J.J. Williams. 2014. Reconstructing disturbances and their biogeochemical consequences over multiple timescales. BioScience. 64(2): 105-116.
  Buma B.  2014.  Nutrient responses to ecosystem disturbances from annual to multi-millennial timescales.  New Phytologist. 1: 13-15.
  Buma B, Brown C, Donato D, Fontaine J, Johnstone J.  2013.  The impacts of changing disturbance regimes on serotinous plant populations and communities.  BioScience 63(11): 866-876.
  Buma B, Wessman CA.  2013.  Forest resilience, climate change, and opportunities for adaptation:  A specific case of a general problem.  Forest Ecology and Management.  306: 216-225.
  Buma B, Pugh ET, Wessman CA.  2013.  Effect of a major insect outbreak on phenological and LAI trends in southern Rocky Mountain forests.  International Journal of Remote Sensing.  34(20): 7249-   7274.
 Buma B.  2013.  Don’t give up just yet:  Maintaining species, services, and systems in a changing world.  Invited commentary on:   Sandler R.  Climate Change and Ecosystem Management.  Ethics, Policy, and Environment.  16(1): 1-4.  
 Buma B, Wessman CA.  2013.  Management, science, and disturbances as opportunities for adaptive transformation of forests.  The International Journal of Climate Change.  4(3): 77-87.
 Buma B, Wessman CA.  2012.  Differential species responses to compounded perturbations and implications for landscape heterogeneity and resilience.  Forest Ecology and Management, 266:25-33.
 Buma B.  2012.  Evaluating the utility and seasonality of NDVI values for assessing post-disturbance recovery in a subalpine forest.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.  184(6):3849-3860.
 Buma B, Wessman CA.  2011.  Disturbance interactions can impact resilience mechanisms of forests.  Ecosphere.  2(5):art64.  

BIOL 4050/5050 Advanced Biology Topics
BIOL 4880 Direct Research
BIOL 3411 Principles of Ecology