Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern
Help
 

GeoTreesearch


Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

(480 K bytes)

Title: Shrubland ecosystems: Importance, distinguishing characteristics, and dynamics

Author: McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G.

Date: 2007

Source: In: Sosebee, Ronald E.; Wester, David B.; Britton, Carlton M.; McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G., comps. Proceedings: Shrubland dynamics -- fire and water; 2004 August 10-12; Lubbock, TX. Proceedings RMRS-P-47. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 3-10.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The importance of shrub species and shrubland ecosystems gained considerable impetus about 30 years ago with the establishment of the USDA Forest Service Shrub Sciences Laboratory and a series of workshops and symposia that preceded and accompanied the establishment of the Laboratory. Since that time, the Shrub Research Consortium and other forums have addressed various aspects of wildland shrub ecosystem biology and management. Shrubs occur in most vegetation types but are dominants only in those habitats that place plants under considerable stress. Three primary, often interacting factors, that promote shrubby habitats are drought or aridity, nutrient-poor soils, and fire. Other stress factors that may also be interactive that contribute to the shrubby habitat are shade, poor soil aeration, winter cold, short growing season, and wind. Most of these conditions frequently occur in semi-arid, temperate, continental climates. The principal shrubland ecosystems of the western United States are sagebrush, chaparral, mountain brush, coastal sage, blackbrush, salt desert, creosote bush, palo verde-cactus, mesquite, ceniza shrub, shinnery, and sand-sage prairie. Similar as well as distinctively different shrubland ecosystems occur at other locations around the world. Shrubland ecosystems have different human and wildlife values and have, and are, subject to changing environmental conditions including different fire regimes. Fragmentations of these ecosystems, for example the sagebrush ecosystems, are of concern since some ecosystem components are at critical risk. Shrubland ecosystem changes have become more apparent in recent decades posing significant ecological and management problems. The challenge for land managers and ecologists is to understand the fluidity of the ecosystems and to be proactive and sensitive to the needs of healthy, productive landscapes.

Keywords: wildland shrubs, fire, water, shrub species, shrubland ecosystems, USDA Forest Service Shrub Sciences Laboratory

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to rmrspubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G. 2007. Shrubland ecosystems: Importance, distinguishing characteristics, and dynamics. In: Sosebee, Ronald E.; Wester, David B.; Britton, Carlton M.; McArthur, E. Durant; Kitchen, Stanley G., comps. Proceedings: Shrubland dynamics -- fire and water; 2004 August 10-12; Lubbock, TX. Proceedings RMRS-P-47. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 3-10.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.