Jim Brandle

Jim Brandle

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications & Presentations
  • Background
  • Interests
  • Grants
  • Advising
  • Courses Taught
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Title Emeritus Shelterbelt Ecologist
Address 408 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

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
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
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
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
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 .
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 .
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.
Stange, C., J. Wilson, J. Brandle, and M. Kuhns. 1998. Windbreak renovation. EC-98-1777. Online
Brandle, J.R. and H.D. Nickerson. 1996. Windbreaks for snow management. EC-96-1770.
Stange, C. and J.R. Brandle. 1996. Windbreak management. EC-96-1768.
Quam, V.C., L. Johnson, B. Wight, and J.R. Brandle. 1994. Windbreaks for livestock operations. EC-91-1766.
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.

Educational Background

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

SNR Mission 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)