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Title: Historical and current forest and range landscapes in the interior Columbia River basin and portions of the Klamath and Great Basins. Part 1: Linking vegetation patterns and landscape vulnerability to potential insect and pathogen disturbances.

Author: Hessburg, Paul F.; Smith, Bradley G.; Kreiter, Scott D.; Miller, Craig A.; Salter, R. Brion; McNicoll, Cecilia H.; Hann, Wendel J.;

Date: 1999

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-458. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 357 p. (Quigley, Thomas, M., ed., Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project: scientific assessment)

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Management activities of the 20th century, especially fire exclusion, timber harvest, and domestic livestock grazing, have significantly modified vegetation spatial patterns of forests and ranges in the interior Columbia basin. Compositional patterns as well as patterns of living and dead structure have changed. Dramatic change in vital ecosystem processes such as fire, insect, and pathogen disturbances, succession, and plant and animal migration is linked to recent change in vegetation patterns. Recent change in vegetation patterns is also a primary reason for current low viability and threatened, endangered, or sensitive status of numerous native plant and animal species. Although well intentioned, 20th-century management practices have not accounted for the larger patterns of living and dead vegetation that enable forest ecosystems to function in perpetuity and maintain their structure and organization through time, or for the disturbances that create and maintain them. Knowledge of change in vegetation patterns enhances resource manager and public awareness of patterns that better correspond with current climate, site conditions, and native disturbance regimes, and improves understanding of conditions to which native terrestrial species have already adapted.

Keywords: Landscape characterization, ecological assessment, vegetation patterns, interior Columbia River basin, Klamath Basin, Great Basin, ecosystem health, vegetation pattern-disturbance process interactions, insect and disease disturbance, landscape ecology, ecosystem processes, potential natural vegetation modeling, vegetation change, fire effects

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Hessburg, Paul F.; Smith, Bradley G.; Kreiter, Scott D.; Miller, Craig A.; Salter, R. Brion; McNicoll, Cecilia H.; Hann, Wendel J. 1999. Historical and current forest and range landscapes in the interior Columbia River basin and portions of the Klamath and Great Basins. Part 1: Linking vegetation patterns and landscape vulnerability to potential insect and pathogen disturbances. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-458. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 357 p. (Quigley, Thomas, M., ed., Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project: scientific assessment)

 


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