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 Research Station
Help
 

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

View PDF (2.0 MB bytes)

Title: GSD Update: The West in transition: Costs and unexpected benefits of disrupting ecosystems

Author: Ferber, Dan;

Date: 2012

Source: February 2012. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 9 p.

Publication Series: Science Bulletins and Newsletters

Description: For centuries, the resilience of western ecosystems kept pace with changes in climate, native species and peoples, and other natural stressors. Droughts, winds, floods, insect outbreaks, bison, and wild fires periodically disrupted the ecosystem dynamics of America's grasslands, shrublands and deserts, and the changes would sometimes last a few years. Native plants and animals were adapted to ecological disturbances, though, and before long they bounced back or shifted to a new state of balance. Some ecosystems and species depended on disturbances such as fire and flooding for renewal. With the arrival of European settlers, however, the dynamics began to change. In today's western rangelands, bison have been replaced by cattle, river water is regulated, non-native plants are invading every state, and cities and transportation networks dot the land. Continuing new knowledge is needed to sustain healthy ecosystems as they undergo rapid changes to meet human needs. How much stress can arid lands tolerate? What knowledge is needed to maintain healthy, biologically diverse ecosystems as urban environments grow larger, as fires burn bigger and hotter, or when wind farms govern the landscape? What science is most helpful to meet the challenges of changing land use and climate? Scientists at USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station's Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystem Research Program are investigating both natural and human-made stressors, and their results could help conserve native species and essential Western ecosystems.

Keywords: disrupting ecosystems, post-fire recovery, rangelands, sage-grouse conservation, urban open space

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:


Ferber, Dan, ed. 2012. GSD Update: The West in transition: Costs and unexpected benefits of disrupting ecosystems. February 2012. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 9 p.

 


 [ 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.