Category: Ecological Research
Title: Southwestern Ponderosa Forest Structure: Changes since Euro-American settlement.
Author: * Covington, W.W. , Moore, M.M.
Subject: Pre-settlement, Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Forest structure
Abstract: Both natural resource professionals and the general public often suffer from the mistaken notion that forests have always looked pretty much like they do today. Nothing could be further from the truth for many forest types, especially the ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests of the American Southwest. Heavy grazing, logging, and fire exclusion, in conjunction with climatic oscillations and elevated atmospheric CO2, have led to many more younger and smaller trees; fewer older and larger trees; accumulation of heavy forest floor fuel loads; reduced herbaceous production; and associated shifts in ecosystem structure, fire hazard, and wildlife habitat. Thus the current forest structure is quite different from conditions that were prevalent throughout the evolutionary history of the native microbes, plants, and animals living in western ponderosa forests.
Source: Journal of Forestry
Publisher: Society of American Foresters, http://www.safnet.org/