As important centres for biological diversity, aspen forests are essential to the function and aesthetics of montane ecosystems in western North America. Aspen stands are maintained by a nuanced relationship with wildfire, although in recent decades aspen mortality has increased.
Background: Information about contemporary fire regimes across the Sky Island mountain ranges of the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico can provide insight into how historical fire management and land use have influenced fire regimes, and can be used to guide fuels management, ecological restoration, and habitat conservation.
In the last three decades, over 4.1 million hectares have burned in Arizona and New Mexico and the largest fires in documented history have occurred in the past two decades. Changes in burn severity over time, however, have not been well documented in forest and woodland ecosystems in the southwestern US.
Forest spatial patterns influence many ecological processes in dry conifer forests. Thus, understanding and replicating spatial patterns is critically important in order to make these forests sustainable and more resilient to fire and other disturbances.
This review provides an overview and integration of the use of resilience concepts to guide natural resources management actions. We emphasize ecosystems and landscapes and provide examples of the use of these concepts from empirical research in applied ecology. We begin with a discussion of definitions and concepts of ecological resilience and related terms that are applicable to management.
Background: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have increased during the past century in the USA. Greater deer densities may reduce tree regeneration, leading to forests that are understocked, where growing space is not filled completely by trees. Despite deer pressure, a major transition in eastern forests has resulted in increased tree densities.
Background: Current forests of the eastern USA have the potential to succeed in composition to more shade-tolerant species. However, long-term processes of transition from fire-tolerant tree species to fire-sensitive species and effects of current land use on forests may interfere with successional progression.
Before the advent of intensive forest management and fire suppression, western North American forests exhibited a naturally occurring resistance and resilience to wildfires and other disturbances. Resilience, which encompasses resistance, reflects the amount of disruption an ecosystem can withstand before its structure or organization qualitatively shift to a different basin of attraction.
This study improved on previous efforts to map longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) over large areas in the southeastern United States of America by developing new methods that integrate forest inventory data, aerial photography and Landsat 8 imagery to model forest characteristics.
Microorganisms and termites are the primary wood decay agents in forests of the southeastern United States, whose activity can be affected by forest management practices. Bedding establishes raised planting beds on poorly-drained soils, but little is known about the effect of bedding or soil bed height on wood decomposition.