Jim Brandle

Jim Brandle

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
  • Outreach

Title Emeritus Shelterbelt Ecologist
Address 408 South Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln NE
Phone 402-472-6626
FAX 402-472-2946
E-mail jbrandle1@unl.edu
Vitae Download file

Hi, I'm Jim Brandle, and I'm a professor emeritus of forestry in the School of Natural Resources.

My main research emphasis is the role of woody plants in agricultural systems, particularly windbreaks and their effects on all aspects of crop production. One part has to do with how windbreaks and shelterbelts work. The other major components focus on the economic value of various forms of shelter and the role that windbreaks play in maintaining biodiversity on our farms and ranches.

Key projects involve research into the physics, or the mechanisms, of woody plant shelter and an increasing emphasis on the economic benefits of shelter, especially crop response. These studies are being pursued in cooperation with colleagues at Iowa State University and the U.S. Forest Service.

Working with the cooperators above, we will soon be releasing the second version of a crop windbreak-economics model. This sophisticated computer model is based on intensive studies of windbreak airflow dynamics and will quantify precise effects on crop yields and money saved. It can evaluate any shelter for the economic benefits to corn or soybean production in the north-central United States.

Forester Jim Brandle and student experiment with the effects of windbreaks on soybeans.
Forester Jim Brandle and student experiment with the effects of windbreaks on soybeans.

Another recent venture involves investigating the effects of windbreaks on carbon sequestration, or storage. Storing carbon helps mitigate climate change. My colleagues and I are looking not only into how much carbon field windbreaks store, but also how much fossil fuel is saved because that area is taken out of production, and not plowed and cultivated. In addition, other types of windbreaks provide savings from reduced home heating and cooling costs and from reduced snow removal costs.

Selected Publications

Pennisi, L., Brandle, J. R., Lackey, N. Q., Meendering, K. (2018). Resident Perceptions of a Proposed Environmental Education Center and Demonstration Farm. Journal of Extension, 56(7). Online
Msanne, J., Awada, T. N., Bryan, N., Schacht, W., Drijber, R., Li, Y., Zhou, X., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D. A., Brandle, J. R., Hiller, J. (2017). Ecophysiological responses of native invasive woody Juniperus virginiana L. to resource availability and stand characteristics in the semi-arid grasslands of the Nebraska Sandhills. Photosynthetica, 55(2), 219-230. Online
Msanne, J., Awada, T. N., Schacht, W., Drijber, R., Okalebo, J., Wedin, D. A., Brandle, J. R. 2017. Ecophysiological control of native invasive woody Juniperus virginiana to resource availability and stand characteristics in the semi-arid grasslands of the Nebraska Sandhills. Photosynthetica, 55: 219-230. Online
Oden, A., Brown, M., Burbach, M., Brandle, J. R., Quinn, J. E. (2015). Variation in avian vocalizations during the non-breeding season in response to traffic noise. Ethology, 121, 472-479. Online
Zhou, X., Schoeneberger, M.M., Brandle, J., Awada, T., Chu, J., Martin, D.L., Li, J., Li, Y., and Mize, C.W. (2015). Analyzing the uncertainties in use of forest-derived biomass equations for open-grown trees in agricultural land. Forest Science. 61:144-161. Online
Awada, T., El-Hage, R., Geha, M., Wedin, D.A., Huddle, J.A., Zhou, X., Msanne, J., Sudmeyer, R.A., Martin, D.L., and Brandle, J.R. (2013). Intra-annual variability and environmental controls over transpiration in a 58-year-old even-aged stand of invasive woody Juniperus virginiana L. in the Nebraska Sandhills, USA. Ecohydrology. 6: 731-740. Online
Li, Y., Brandle, J., Awada, T., Chen, Y., Hana, J., Zhang, F., Luo. Y. (2013). Accumulation of carbon and nitrogen in the plant-soil system after afforestation of active sand dunes in China's Horqin Sandy Land. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 177: 75-84. Online
Quinn, J.E., A. Oden, J.R. Brandle. 2013. The influence of different cover types on American Robin nest success in organic agroecosystems. Sustainability. 5:3502-3512
Quinn, J.E., J.R. Brandle, and R.J. Johnson. 2013. A farm-scale biodiversity and ecosystem services assessment tool: The Healthy Farm Index. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 11(2): 176-192. Online
Li, Y., X. Zhou, J.R. Brandle, T. Shang, Y. Chen, J. Han. 2012. Tempoeral progress in improving carbon and nitrogen storage by grazing exclosure practice in a degraded land area of China's Horgin Sandy Grassland. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 150:55-61 Online
Quinn, J.E., J. Brandle, and R. Johnson. 2012. The effects of land sparing and wildlife-friendly practices on grassland bird abundance within organic farmlands. Agriculture Ecosystems, & Environment. 161:10-16. Online
Schoeneberger, M.M., G. Bentrup, H. deGooijer, R. Soolanayakanahally, T. Sauer, J. Brandle, X. Zhou, and D. Current. 2012. Agroforestry as a climate change mitigation and adaptation tool for agriculture. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 67:128A-136A Online
Hernandez-Ramirex, G., T.J. Sauer, C.A. Cambardella, J.R. Brandle and D.E. James. (2011) Carbon sources and dynamics in afforested and cultivated corn belt soils. Soil Sci. Soc. of Am. J. 75:216-225. Online
Hou, Q., L.J. Young, J.R. Brandle, and M.M. Schoeneberger. (2011) A spatial model approach for assessing windbreak growth and carbon stocks. J. Environ. Quality 40:842-852. Online
Johnson, R.J., Jedlicka, J.A., Quinn, J.E., Brandle, J.R. 2011. Global perspectives on birds in agricultural landscapes. Issues in agroecology present status and future prospectus, volume 1, Integrating Agriculture, Conservation and Ecotourism: Examples from the Field. 55-140. Online
Quinn, J.E., J. R. Brandle, R. J. Johnson, A. J. Tyre. 2011. Application of detectability in the use of indicator species: A case study with birds. Ecological Indicators 11(5):1413-1418. Online
Zhou, X.H., Brandle, J.R., Awada, T., Schoeneberger, M.M., Martin, D.L., and Tang, Z.H. (2011). The use of forest-derived specific gravity for the conversion of volume to biomass for open-grown trees on agricultural land. Biomass and Bioenergy. 35: 1721-1731. Online
Hoagland, L., L. Hodges, G.A. Helmers, J.R. Brandle and C.A. Francis. 2010. Labor availability in an integrated agricultural system. J. Sust. Agric. 34:532-548.
Brandle, J.R., J. Tyndal, R.A. Sudmeyer, and L. Hodges (2009) Windbreak Practices. Garrett, H.E., W.J. Rietveld, and R.F. Fisher (eds.) North American Agroforestry: An Integrated Science and Practice, 2nd edition, Am. Soc. Agronomy, Madison, WI.
Hygnstrom, S.E., P.D. Skelton, S.J. Josiah, J.M. Gilsdorf, D.R. Virchow, J.A. Brandle, A.K. Jayaprakash, K.M. Eskridge, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2009. White-tailed deer browsing and rubbing preferences for trees and shrubs that produce non-timber forest products. HortTechnology 19:204-211. Online
Perry, M.E.L., W.H. Schacht, G.A. Ruark, and J.R. Brandle (2009) Tree canopy effect on grass and grass/legume mixtures in eastern Nebraska. Agroforestry Systems 77:23-35
Puckett, H.L, J.R. Brandle, R.J. Johnson, and E.E. Blankenship (2009) Avian foraging patterns in crop field edges adjacent to woody habitat. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 131:9-15. Online
Quinn, J.E., J.R. Brandle, and R.J. Johnson. 2009. Development of a Healthy Farm Index to assess ecological, economic, and social function on organic and sustainable farms in Nebraska's four agroecoregions. Farming with Grass: Achieving Sustainable Mixed Agricultural Landscapes. Ankeny, IA: Soil and Water Conservation Society. 156-170.
Mize, C., J. Brandle, M. Schoeneberger, and G. Bentrup. 2008. Ecological development and function of shelterbelts in temperate North America. Toward Agroforestry Design: An Ecological Approac. hPp 27-54. Online
Mize, C.W., J. Colletti, W. Batchelor, S.S. Kim, E.S. Takle, and J.R. Brandle (2008) Modeling a field shelterbelt system with the shelterbelt agroforestry modeling system. In: D.R. Batish, R.K. Kohli, S. Jose, and H.P. Singh (eds.) Ecological Basis of Agroforestry. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL. p. 273-285.
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, C.W. Mize, and E.S. Takle (2008) Relationship of three-dimensional structure to shelterbelt function: A theoretical hypothesis. In: D.R. Batish, R.K. Kohli, S. Jose, and H.P. Singh (eds.) Ecological Basis of Agroforestry. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, FL. p. 273-285.
Cunningham, A.P., Brandle, J.R., Danielson, S.D., Hunt, T.E. 2007. Lady Beetles of Nebraska. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Extenstion. pp. 60 Online
Dosskey, M.G., K.D. Hoagland and J.R. Brandle. 2007. Change in filter strip performance over ten years. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 62:21-32. Online
Sauer, T.J., C.A. Cambardella, and J.R. Brandle (2007) Soil carbon and tree litter dynamics in a red cedar-scotch pine shelterbelt. Agroforestry Systems 71:163- 174 Online
Zhou, X.H., Brandle, J.R., Schoeneberger, M.M. and Awada, T. 2007 Developing above-ground biomass equations for open-grown multiple-stemmed tree species: Shelterbelt grown Russian-olive. Ecological Modelling 202: 311-323. Online
Hodges, L., E. Daningsih, and J. Brandle (2006) Comparison of an antitranspirant spray, a polyacrylamide gel and wind protection on early growth of muskmelon. HortScience 41 (2):361-366. Online
Kriz, J., S.D. Danielson, J.R. Brandle, and E.E. Blankenship (2006) Relative abundance of exotic and native Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) in southeast Nebraska alfalfa. Journal of Entomological Science 41(1):84-86.
Kriz, J., S.D. Danielson, J.R. Brandle, E.E. Blankenship and G. Henebry (2006) Effects of aphid (Homoptera) abundance and surrounding vegetation on the encounter rate of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera), Chrysopidae (Neuroptera) and Nabidae (Hemiptera) in alfalfa. Journal of Entomological Science 41(3): 211-220.
Samal, A., J.R. Brandle, and D.S. Zhang (2006) Texture as the basis for individual tree identification. Information Sciences 176 (5):565-576. Online
Zhang, D.S., A. Samal, and J.R. Brandle. (2006) A Method for estimating fractal dimension of tree crowns from digital images. International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence 20:1-11. Online
Helmers, G. and J.R. Brandle (2005) Optimum windbreak spacing in Great Plains Agriculture. Great Plains Research 15:179-198. Online
Quo, Q., M. Taper, M. Schoeneberger, J. Brandle 2005. Spatial-temporal population dynamics across species range: from centre to margin. Oikos 108:47-57. Online
Skelton, P., S.J. Josiah, J.W. King, J.R. Brandle, G.A. Helmers, and C.A. Francis (2005) Adoption of riparian forest buffers on private lands in Nebraska, USA. Journal of Small-Scale Forest Economics, Management and Policy 4:185-204. Online
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, C.W. Mize, and E.S. Takle. 2005. Three-dimensional aerodynamic structure of a tree shelterbelt: Definition, characterization and working models. Agroforestry Systems 63(2):133-147. Online
Brandle, J.R., L. Hodges, X, Zhou 2004. Windbreaks in North American agricultural systems. Agroforestry Systems 61:65-78. Online
Hodges, L., M.N. Suratman, J.R. Brandle, and K.G. Hubbard 2004. Growth and yield of snap beans as affected by wind protection and microclimate changes due to shelterbelts and planting dates. HortScience 39:996-1004. Online
Josiah, S.J., R. St-Pierre, H. Brott, and J.R. Brandle. 2004. Productive conservation: Diversifying farm enterprises by producing specialty woody products in agroforestry systems. Journal Sustainable Agriculture 23:93-108. Online
Brandle, J., X.H. Zhou, and L. Hodges. 2003. Agroforestry for enhancing water use efficiency. Encyclopedia of Water Science 19-21.
Hou, Q.J., J.R. Brandle, M.M. Schoenberger. 2003. Alteration of soil water content consequent to root-pruning at a windbreak/crop interface in Nebraska, USA. Agroforestry Systems 57:137-147. Online
Takle, E.S., J.R. Brandle, R.A. Schmidt, R. Garcia, I.V. Litvina, W.J. Massman, X.H. Zhou, G. Doyle, and C.W. Rice 2003. High-frequency Pressure Variation in the Vicinity of a Surface CO2 Flux Chamber. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 114:245-250 .
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, E.S. Takle, C.W. Mize 2003. Relationship of three-dimensional structure to shelterbelt function: A theoretical hypothesis. Journal of Crop Production.
Beecher, N. A., R. J. Johnson, J. R. Brandle, R. M. Case, L. J. Young 2002. Agroecology of birds in organic and nonorganic farmland. Conservation Biology. 16:1629-1631 (Journal Series Number:12644)
Brandle, J., X. Zhou, and L. Hodges. 2002. How windbreaks work,. EC-02-1763. Online
Brandle, J.R., Zhou, X.H., Takle, E.S. 2002. The influence of three dimensional structure of a tree shelterbelt on aerodynamic effectiveness. Land-use Management for the Future, Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Agroforestry in North America.
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, C.W. Mize, E.S. Takle 2002. Three dimensional aerodynamic structure of a tree shelterbelt: Defination, characterization and working models. Agroforestry Systems. 63: 133-147. Online
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, E.S. Takle 2002. Estimating the three dimensional structure of a green ash shelterbelt: Distribution of vegetative surface area. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 111: 93-108 Online
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, E.S. Takle and C.W. Mize 2002. Estimation of the 3-dimensional Aerodynamic Structure of a Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.) Shelterbelt. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 111:93-108 .
Zhou, X.H., J.R. Brandle, E.S. Takle, C.W. Mize. 2002. Estimation of the three-dimensional aerodynamic structure of a green ash shelterbelt. Agricultural & Forest Meteorology. Online
Danielson, S.D., Brandle, J.R., Hodges, L. 2001. Parasitoids of the Bean leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) found in Nebraska soybean fields. Journal of the Entomological Society. 73(4):242-244 (Journal Series Number:12721). Online
Easterling, W.E., J.R. Brandle, Q. Guo, C.J. Hays and D.S. Guertin 2001. Simulating the Impact of Human Land Use Change on Forest Composition in Great Plains Agroecosystems with the Seedscape Model. Ecological Modeling. 140 (1-2:163-176 .
Lin, X., Hubbard, K.G., Walter-Shea, E.A., Brandle, J.R., Meyer, G.E. 2001. Some perspectives on recent in-situ air temperature observations: Modeling the microclimate inside the radiation shields. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 18:1470-1484 (Journal Series Number:13008). Online
Brandle, J. and L. Hodges. 2000. Field windbreaks. EC00-1778-x. Online
Brandle, J.R., L. Hodges, and B. Wight 2000. Windbreak practices. In North American Agroforestry: An Integrated Science. University of Nebraska.
Danielson, S.D., Brandle, J.R., Hodges, L. Srinivas, P. 2000. Bean leaf beetle (Coleptera: Chrysomelidae) abundance in soybean fields protected and unprotected by shelterbelts. Journal of Entomological Science. 35:385-390 (Journal Series Number:12711) Online
Takle, E.S., Brandle, J.R., Schmidt, R.A., Garcia, R., Litvina, I.V., Doyle, G., Zhou, X.H., Hou, Q.J., Rice, C.W., Massman, W.J. 2000. Pressure pumping of carbon dioxide from soil. The 24th Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, American Meteorological Society, Aug. 14-18, California.
Zheng, D.S., Brandle, J.R., Hodges, L. Danigsih, E., Hubbard, K.G. The response of muskmelon growth and development to microclimate modification by shelterbelts. Journal of HortScience. 34(1):64-68 (Journal Series Number:12100). Online
Stange, C., J. Wilson, J. Brandle, and M. Kuhns. 1998. Windbreak renovation. EC-98-1777. Online
Dix, M.E., L. Hodges, J.R. Brandle, R.J. Wright, and M.O. Harrell 1997. Effects of shelterbelts on the aerial distribution of insect pests in muskmelon. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture. 9(2/3):5-24 (Journal Series Number:11282) Online
Easterling W.E., C.J. Hays, M.M. Easterling, and J.R. Brandle 1997. Modelling the effect of shelterbelts on maize productivity under climate change: An application of the EPIC model. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 61:163-176 (Journal Series Number:10928)
Guertin D.S., W.E. Easterling, and J.R. Brandle 1997. Climate Changes and Forests in the Great Plains: Issues in modeling fragmented woodlands in intensively managed landscapes. BioScience. 47(5):287-295.
Guertin, D.S., W.E. Easterling, and J.R. Brandle 1997. Climate change and forests in the Great Plains. BioScience. 47:287-295 (Journal Series Number:11371) Online
Brandle, J.R. and H.D. Nickerson. 1996. Windbreaks for snow management. EC-96-1770.
Easterling W.E., X. Chen, C. Hays, J.R. Brandle, and H. Zhang 1996. Improving the validation of model-simulated crop yield response to climate change: an application to the EPIC model. Climate Research. 6:263-273. Online
Stange, C. and J.R. Brandle. 1996. Windbreak management. EC-96-1768.
Dix M.E., R.J. Johnson, M.O.Harrell, R.M. Case, R.J.Wright, L. Hodges, J.R. Brandle, M.M. Schoenberger, N.J. Sunderman, R.L.Fitzmaurice, L.J. Young, and Hubbard K.G. 1995. Influences of trees on abundance of natural enemies of insect pests: a review. Agroforestry Systems. 29:303-311. Online
Quam, V.C., L. Johnson, B. Wight, and J.R. Brandle. 1994. Windbreaks for livestock operations. EC-91-1766. Online
Quam, V.C., J. Gardner, J.R. Brandle and T.K. Boes. 1992. Windbreaks in sustainable agricultural systems. EC-91-1772.
Boehner, P., J.R. Brandle and S. Finch. 1991. Windbreak establishment. EC-91-1764.
Johnson, R.J., M.M. Beck and J.R. Brandle. 1992. Windbreaks and wildlife. EC-91-1771.
Wight, B., T.K. Boes, and J.R. Brandle. 1993. Windbreaks for rural living. EC-91-1767.
Brandle, J.R. 1990. Management of Microclimate with Windbreaks. Proceedings of the Plant Growth Regulator Society of Ameria, 17th Annual Meeting. Pg 61-69.
Brandle, J.R. 1990. Shelterbelts: A Buffer to Climate on the Plains. Symposium on t he Impacts of Climatic Change and Variability on the Great Plains, University of Waterloo, Ontarioa Canada. Pp 231-234.
Brandle, J.R. 1980. The Role of Microclimate in Energy Use Efficiency. Tree Crops for Energy Co-Production on Farms.
Hodges, L., Brandle, J. R., Windbreaks for Fruit and Vegetable Crops EC06-1779 Online

Educational Background

  • BS - University of Tennessee, Botany (1966)
  • MS - University of Missouri, Forestry (1970)
  • PhD - University of Missouri, Forestry (1974)

SNR Program Area(s)

  • Applied Ecology

Areas of Interest

  • Agroforestry
  • Shelterbelts
  • Ecology
  • Crop Response to Shelter
  • Microclimate in woody plant shelter
  • Shelterbelt Structure and Function
  • Agroecology
  • Biological Control
  • Biological diversity
  • Forest and grassland ecology
  • Forestry
  • Organic agriculture
  • Sustainable agriculture and societies
  • Trees
  • Windbreaks
  • Bio-atmospheric interactions
  • Urban Forestry
  • Riparian Ecosystems

Currently this page only displays grants that were awarded on 1/1/2009 to the present. If a grant was awarded prior to 1/1/2009 and is still active, it will not be displayed on this page.

Grant Title Temperate Agroforestry in GHG Mitigation on Agricultural Lands: Accounting and Methodologies for Carbon and Indirect Benefits
Starting Date 8/1/2011
Principal Investigators
Ending Date 7/31/2015
Funding Level $50,000.00
Funding Source US Department of Agriculture

Grant Title Agriculture and Peri-urban Development: Synergism for the Future
Starting Date 3/1/2009
Principal Investigators
Jim Brandle
Ending Date 9/30/2010
Funding Level $25,563.00
Funding Source McIntire-Stennis


Undergraduate Majors Bachelor of Science in
  • Pre-Forestry
Graduate Program(s)