Category: Ecological Research
Title: Historical and Anticipated Changes in Forest Ecosystems of the Inland West of the United States
Author: * Covington, W.W. , Everett, R.L. , Steele, R. , Irwin, L.L. , Daer, T.A. , Auclair, A.N.D.
Subject: Pre-settlement, Ecological Restoration
Abstract: Euro-American Settlement of the Inland West has altered forest and woodland landscapes, species composition, disturbance regimes, and resource conditions. Public concern over the loss of selected species and unique habitats (e.g., old-growth) has caused us to neglect the more pervasisve problem of declining ecosystem helath. Population explosions of trees, exoitci wee species, insects, duseasem and humans are stressing nautral systems. In particular, fire exclusion, grazing, and timber harvest have created anomalous ecosystem structures, landscape pattersn, and disturbance regimes that are not consistent with the evoloutionary history of the indigenous biota. Continuation of historical trense of climate change, modified atmospheric chemistry, tree density increases, and catastrophic cisturbances seems certain. However, ecosystem managementn strategies including the initiation of management experiements anc facilitate the adaptation of both social and ecoloitcal systems to these anticipated changes. A fairly narrow window of opportunity-perhaps 15-30 years-exists for land manangers to implement ecological restoration treatments.
Source: Journal of Sustainable Forestry
Publisher: The Haworth Press, Inc., http://www.haworthpress.com/default.asp