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RMRS-GTR-139: Historic range of variability for upland vegetation in the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming


Dillon, Gregory K.; Knight, Dennis H.; Meyer, Carolyn B. 2005. Historic range of variability for upland vegetation in the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-139. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 85 p.

An approach for synthesizing the results of ecological research pertinent to land management is the analysis of the historic range of variability (HRV) for key ecosystem variables that are affected by management activities. This report provides an HRV analysis for the upland vegetation of the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeastern Wyoming. The variables include live tree density, dead tree (snag) density, canopy cover, abundance of coarse woody debris, species diversity, fire return intervals, the abundance of various diseases, the proportion of the landscape in different land cover types, and the degree of patchiness in the landscape. The variables were examined at the stand and landscape scales, using information available in the literature and USFS databases. High-elevation landscapes were considered separately from low-elevation landscapes. Much of the report pertains to forests dominated by lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, and Engelmann spruce at high elevations, and by ponderosa pine and aspen at lower elevations. We defined the HRV reference period for the MBNF as approximately 1600 to 1860.

Keywords: aspen, bark beetles, canopy gaps, coarse woody debris, comandra blister rust, dwarf mistletoe, Engelmann spruce, fire effects, disease in Rocky Mountain forests, forest fragmentation, insects in forests, interior forest, landscape ecology, lodgepole pine, mistletoe, mountain pine beetle, ponderosa pine, roads, Rocky Mountain forests, snags, spruce beetle, subalpine fir, subalpine forests, timber harvesting effects, white pine blister rust, wind in forests


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Title: RMRS-GTR-139: Historic range of variability for upland vegetation in the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming
Electronic Publish Date: September 12, 2005
Last Update:
February 11, 2009

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