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Publication Information

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Title: Historic anthropogenically maintained bear grass savannas of the southeastern Olympic Peninsula.

Author: Peter, D.H.; Shebitz, D.;

Date: 2006

Source: Restoration Ecology. 14(4): 605-615

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: A little-known fire-maintained anthropogenic ecosystem in the southeastern Olympic Peninsula of Washington is documented. Owing to cessation of burning, most of these areas have succeeded to forest. We present cultural, historical, and ecological data to describe the structure and function of this ecosystem. We believe that native peoples maintained this system for the provision of culturally important plants and animals through repeated burning. The overstory was dominated by Douglas-fir and the understory by beargrass. Shade-intolerant prairie species persist where openings have been maintained but not in surrounding forests. These findings suggest that frequent application of fire would be necessary to restore this ecosystem.

Keywords: anthropogenic ecosystem, beargrass, fire, Olympic Peninsula, prairie, savanna, succession, Xerophyllum tenax

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Peter, D.H.; Shebitz, D. 2006. Historic anthropogenically maintained bear grass savannas of the southeastern Olympic Peninsula. Restoration Ecology. 14(4): 605-615


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