Staff Profile
Sean McMahon

Biography

My lab is focused on understanding how tree demography--the growth, survival, and recruitment of individual stems--is driven by physiological and environmental processes.  We also study how demographic dynamics drive large-scale patterns of forest structure, function, and diversity.  Much of our work evolves from using extant data from both the Smithsonian's ForestGEO network, FIA, remote sensing data sets, and extensive research of Geoffrey Parker, a colleague and forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where we are based.  We also explore these questions by collecting new data whenever possible.  If a research focus is on forest dynamics, there is no limit to the kinds of projects we want to weave into our team.  


I am the Temperate Program Coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution's CTFS-ForestGEO network.   There are currently 17 temperate plots in the program in North America and Europe, with a number of other partner plots in China.  My responsibilities for the network involve facilitating synthetic science, assisting network partners in research, data-collection, and data vetting, storage and curation.  I also work to expand the network into new biomes, with unique flora, distrubance histories, and new partner institutions to promote fundamental research to build a global understanding of forest dynamics.   

 

Publications

  • Chang-Yang, Chia-Hao, Needham, Jessica, Lu, Chia-Ling, Hsieh, Chang-Fu, Sun, I-Fang and McMahon, Sean M. (2021). Closing the life cycle of forest trees: The difficult dynamics of seedling-to-sapling transitions in a subtropical rainforest. Journal of Ecology, https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13677
  • Chitra-Tarak, Rutuja, Xu, Chonggang, Aguilar, Salomon, Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Chambers, Jeff, Detto, Matteo, Faybishenko, Boris, Fisher, Rosie A., Knox, Ryan G., Koven, Charles D., Kueppers, Lara M., Kunert, Nobert, Kupers, Stefan J., McDowell, Nate G., Newman, Brent D., Paton, Steven R., Perez, Rolando, Ruiz, Laurent, Sack, Lawren, Warren, Jeffrey M., Wolfe, Brett T., Wright, Cynthia, Wright, S. Joseph, Zailaa, Joseph and McMahon, Sean M. (2021). Hydraulically-vulnerable trees survive on deep-water access during droughts in a tropical forest. New Phytologist, https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17464
  • Davies, Stuart J., Abiem, Iveren, Abu Salim, Kamariah, Aguilar, Salomon, Allen, David, Alonso, Alfonso, Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Andrade, Ana, Arellano, Gabriel, Ashton, Peter S., Baker, Patrick J., Baker, Matthew E., Baltzer, Jennifer L., Basset, Yves, Bissiengou, Pulcherie, Bohlman, Stephanie, Bourg, Norman A., Brockelman, Warren Y., Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Burslem, David F. R. P., Cao, Min, Cardenas, Dairon, Chang, Li-Wan, Chang-Yang, Chia-Hao, Chao, Kuo-Jung, et al. (2021). ForestGEO: Understanding forest diversity and dynamics through a global observatory network. Biological Conservation, 253 , 108907-108907. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108907
  • Poyatos, Rafael, Granda, Victor, Flo, Victor, Adams, Mark A., Adorjan, Balazs, Aguade, David, Aidar, Marcos P. M., Allen, Scott, Susana Alvarado-Barrientos, M., Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Aparecido, Luiza Maria, Arain, M. Altaf, Aranda, Ismael, Asbjornsen, Heidi, Baxter, Robert, Beamesderfer, Eric, Berry, Z. Carter, Berveiller, Daniel, Blakely, Bethany, Boggs, Johnny, Bohrer, Gil, Bolstad, Paul, V., Bonal, Damien, Bracho, Rosvel, Brito, Patricia, et al. (2021). Global transpiration data from sap flow measurements: the SAPFLUXNET database. Earth System Science Data, 13 (6) , 2607-2649. https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-13-2607-2021
  • Sedio, Brian E., Spasojevic, Marko J., Myers, Jonathan A., Wright, S. Joseph, Person, Maria D., Chandrasekaran, Hamssika, Dwenger, Jack H., Prechi, Maria Laura, Lopez, Christian A., Allen, David N., Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Baltzer, Jennifer L., Bourg, Norman A., Castillo, Buck T., Day, Nicola J., Dewald-Wang, Emily, Dick, Christopher W., James, Timothy Y., Kueneman, Jordan G., LaManna, Joseph, Lutz, James A., McGregor, Ian R., McMahon, Sean M., Parker, Geoffrey G., Parker, John D., et al. (2021). Chemical Similarity of Co-occurring Trees Decreases With Precipitation and Temperature in North American Forests. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.679638
  • Fung, Tak, Chisholm, Ryan A., Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Bourg, Norm, Brockelman, Warren Y., Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Chang‐Yang, Chia-Hao, Chitra‐Tarak, Rutuja, Chuyong, George, Condit, Richard, Dattaraja, Handanakere S., Davies, Stuart J., Ewango, Corneille E. N., Fewless, Gary, Fletcher, Christine, Gunatilleke, C. V. S., Gunatilleke, I. A. U. N., Hao, Zhanqing, Hogan, J. A., Howe, Robert, Hsieh, Chang-Fu, Kenfack, David, Lin, YiChing, Ma, Keping, Makana, Jean-Remy, et al. (2020). Temporal population variability in local forest communities has mixed effects on tree species richness across a latitudinal gradient . Ecology Letters, 23 (1) , 160-171. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13412
  • Russo, Sabrina E., McMahon, Sean M., Detto, Matteo, Ledder, Glenn, Wright, S. Joseph, Condit, Richard S., Davies, Stuart J., Ashton, Peter S., Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Chang-Yang, Chia-Hao, Ediriweera, Sisira, Ewango, Corneille E. N., Fletcher, Christine, Foster, Robin B., Gunatilleke, C. V. Savi, Gunatilleke, I. A. U. Nimal, Hart, Terese, Hsieh, Chang-Fu, Hubbell, Stephen P., Itoh, Akira, Kassim, Abdul Rahman, Leong, Yao Tze, Lin, Yi Ching, Makana, Jean-Remy, Mohamad, Mohizah Bt, et al. (2020). The interspecific growth-mortality trade-off is not a general framework for tropical forest community structure. Nature Ecology & Evolution, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-020-01340-9
  • Walker, Anthony P., De Kauwe, Martin G., Bastos, Ana, Belmecheri, Soumaya, Georgiou, Katerina, Keeling, Ralph, McMahon, Sean M., Medlyn, Belinda E., Moore, David J. P., Norby, Richard J., Zaehle, Sönke, Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Battipaglia, Giovanna, Brienen, Roel J. W., Cabugao, Kristine G., Cailleret, Maxime, Campbell, Elliott, Canadell, Josep, Ciais, Philippe, Craig, Matthew E., Ellsworth, David, Farquhar, Graham, Fatichi, Simone, Fisher, Joshua B., Frank, David, et al. (2020). Integrating the evidence for a terrestrial carbon sink caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 . The New Phytologist, https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16866
  • Walker, Anthony P., De Kauwe, Martin G., Bastos, Ana, Belmecheri, Soumaya, Georgiou, Katerina, Keeling, Ralph, McMahon, Sean M., Medlyn, Belinda E., Moore, David J. P., Norby, Richard J., Zaehle, Sönke, Anderson‐Teixeira, Kristina J., Battipaglia, Giovanna, Brienen, Roel J. W., Cabugao, Kristine G., Cailleret, Maxime, Campbell, Elliott, Canadell, Josep, Ciais, Philippe, Craig, Matthew E., Ellsworth, David, Farquhar, Graham, Fatichi, Simone, Fisher, Joshua B., Frank, David, et al. (2020). Integrating the evidence for a terrestrial carbon sink caused by increasing atmospheric CO 2 . New Phytologist, https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16866
  • Albert, Loren P., Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia, Smith, Marielle N., Wu, Jin, Chavana-Bryant, Cecilia, Prohaska, Neill, Taylor, Tyeen C., Martins, Giordane A., Ciais, Philippe, Mao, Jiafu, Arain, M. A., Li, Wei, Shi, Xiaoying, Ricciuto, Daniel M., Huxman, Travis E., McMahon, Sean M. and Saleska, Scott R. (2019). Cryptic phenology in plants: case studies, implications and recommendations . Global Change Biology, 25 (11) , 3591-3608. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14759
  • Briscoe, Natalie J., Elith, Jane, Salguero-Gómez, Roberto, Lahoz-Monfort, Jos, Camac, James S., Giljohann, Katherine M., Holden, Matthew H., Hradsky, Bronwyn A., Kearney, Michael R., McMahon, Sean M., Phillips, Ben L., Regan, Tracey J., Rhodes, Jonathan R., Vesk, Peter A., Wintle, Brendan A., Yen, Jian D. L. and Guillera-Arroita, Gurutzeta. (2019). Forecasting species range dynamics with process-explicit models: matching methods to applications . Ecology Letters, 22 (11) , 1940-1956. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13348
  • Fung, Tak, Chisholm, Ryan A., Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina, Bourg, Norm, Brockelman, Warren Y., Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Chang-Yang, Chia-Hao, Chitra-Tarak, Rutuja, Chuyong, George, Condit, Richard, Dattaraja, Handanakere S., Davies, Stuart J., Ewango, Corneille E. N., Fewless, Gary, Fletcher, Christine, Gunatilleke, C. V. Savitri, Gunatilleke, I. A. U. Nimal, Hao, Zhanqing, Hogan, J. Aaron, Howe, Robert, Hsieh, Chang-Fu, Kenfack, David, Lin, YiChing, Ma, Keping, Makana, Jean-Remy, et al. (2019). Temporal population variability in local forest communities has mixed effects on tree species richness across a latitudinal gradient . Ecology Letters, https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13412
  • Hogan, J. Aaron, McMahon, Sean M., Buzzard, Vanessa, Michaletz, Sean T., Enquist, Brian J., Thompson, Jill, Swenson, Nathan G. and Zimmerman, Jess K. (2019). Drought and the interannual variability of stem growth in an aseasonal, everwet forest. Biotropica, 51 (2) , 139-154. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12624
  • McMahon, Sean M., Arellano, Gabriel and Davies, Stuart J. (2019). The importance and challenges of detecting changes in forest mortality rates . Ecosphere, 10 (2) , 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2615
  • Smith, Marielle N., Stark, Scott C., Taylor, Tyeen C., Ferreira, Mauricio L., Oliveira, Eronaldo de, Restrepo‐Coupe, Natalia, Chen, Shuli, Woodcock, Tara, dos Santos, Darlisson Bentes, Alves, Luciana F., Figueira, Michela, de Camargo, Plinio B., de Oliveira, Raimundo C., Aragão, Luiz E. O. C., Falk, Donald A., McMahon, Sean M., Huxman, Travis E. and Saleska, Scott R. (2019). Seasonal and drought related changes in leaf area profiles depend on height and light environment in an Amazon forest . New Phytologist, 222 (3) , 1284-1297. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15726

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