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Title: Using estimates of natural variation to detect ecologically important change in forest spatial patterns: a case study, Cascade Range, eastern Washington.

Author: Hessburg, Paul F.; Smith, Bradley G.; Salter, R. Brion.;

Date: 1999

Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-514. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 65 p

Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)

Description: Using hierarchical clustering techniques, we grouped subwatersheds on the eastern slope of the Cascade Range in Washington State into ecological subregions by similarity of area in potential vegetation and climate attributes. We then built spatially continuous historical and current vegetation maps for 48 randomly selected subwatersheds from interpretations of 1938-49 and 1985-93 aerial photos, respectively, and attributes cover types, structural classes, and potential vegetation types to individual patches by modeling procedures. We estimated a natural range of variation (NRV) in spatial patterns of patch types by subwatersheds and five forested ecological subregions. We illustrate how NRV information can be used to characterize the direction and magnitude of vegetation change occurring as a consequence of management.

Keywords: Natural range of variation, forest health, space-for-time substitution, ecosystem restoration, ecological monitoring, landscape patterns, spatial pattern analysis

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Hessburg, Paul F.; Smith, Bradley G.; Salter, R. Brion. 1999. Using estimates of natural variation to detect ecologically important change in forest spatial patterns: a case study, Cascade Range, eastern Washington. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-514. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 65 p

 


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