Category: Ecological Research
Title: Ancient Pinon-Juniper Forests of Mesa Verde and the West: A Cautionary Note for Forest Restoration Programs
Author: Romme, W.H. , Floyd-Hanna, L. , Hanna, D.D.
Subject: Pinyon-Juniper, Ecological Restoration
Abstract: Fuel reduction and fire mitigation activities may be linked to restoration of overall forest health, but the two goals do not always coincide. We illustrate the importance of understanding both historic and contemporary fire regimes by evaluating the pion-juniper forests of Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. These dense forests are characterized by infrequent, severe fires occurring at intervals of many centuries. Stand structure, composition, and fire behavior have not been substantially altered by 20th century fire suppression, in contrast to other pionjuniper systems. We hypothesize that three qualitatively different disturbance regimes characterize pion-juniper ecosystems throughout the West.
Source: Rocky Mountain Research Station Proceedings
Publisher: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/