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Category: Ecological Research

Title: Working Paper 07: Establishing Reference Conditions for Southwestern Ponderosa Pine Forests

Author: * Friederici, P.G.

Subject: Ecological Restoration, Reference conditions, Tree thinning, Prescribed burns

Abstract: Restoration treatments that include prescribed burning, often preceded by thinning to reduce fuel loads, have the potential to improve the ecological health of these forests. In order to wisely set the goals that underlie these treatments, it is useful for us to know as much as possible about past forest conditions, especially the reference conditions that existed before forest structure and function were altered by Euro-American settlers. They formed the evolutionary environment of southwestern ponderosa pine trees a fairly stable environment, in other words, in which this tree species and many other plants and animals evolved and adapted. Restoring conditions similar to those of the evolutionary environment is not a matter of trying to return to the past; rather, it is only a way to assure the long-term health of these forests into the future.

Date: 2004

Type: Working Papers

Source: ERI Working Papers

Identifier: Vol. 7, 16p.

Publisher: NAU Ecological Restoration Institute, http://www.eri.nau.edu

Format: PDF

Language: English