Professor of Biology
Research associate, Holcomb Research Institute, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN (1987-1991)
Postdoctoral Fellow, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (1986-1987)
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Ph.D. (1985)
Plattsburgh State University College, MS Biology
Plattsburgh State University College, BS Secondary Education Biology
My general area of interest is the ecology of trees and forests.
Specific Goal: To study the effects of natural and human-causes stresses on tree growth and mortality. Most recently, to study how variation in climate variables influences growth of trees and whether there are patterns of similar responses among tree species that share anatomical, ecological, and taxonomic characteristics.
In our research, we use precise measurement of annual growth tree-rings to evaluate growth responses to variation in specific climate variables, including monthly and seasonal temperature, precipitation, drought indices, and modeled evapotranspiration. Core samples from trees allow for measurement of annual tree-ring width over periods of decades to centuries while causing minimal damage to living trees. Tree-ring data from up to 30 trees per site and from up to 360 sites distributed across eastern North America have been used to document the growth responses of oak species to climate variation. Current research has focused on expanding these analyses to other tree species in this region with the goal of looking for differences and commonalities among species.
Figure 1: Dr. LeBlanc hand drills an increment borer into a tree to obtain a core sample.
Figure 2: Sample of the wood core taken from increment borer.
Figure 3: Students measure a tree diameter during field sampling.
LeBlanc, D.C. and D.W. Stahle. 2015. Radial growth responses of four oak species to climate in eastern and central North America. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45: 793-804.
LeBlanc, D.C. 2012. Gapminder: Using a world of human ecology data to teach students critical thinking skills. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 93:358–372.
LeBlanc, D.C. and Terrell, M.A. 2011. Comparison of growth-climate relationships between white oak and northern red oak across eastern North America. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41(10): 1936-1947. Editor’s Choice for the issue.
LeBlanc, D.C. and Terrell, M.A. 2009. Radial growth response of white oak to climate in eastern North America. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39 (11): 2180-2192.