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Incorporating effects of natural disturbances in managed ecosystemsAuthor(s): John T. Rotenberry; Robert J. Cooper; Joseph M. Wunderle; Kimberley G. Smith
Source: In: Finch, Deborah M.; Stangel, Peter W. (eds.). Status and management of neotropical migratory birds: September 21-25, 1992, Estes Park, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-229. Fort Collins, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service: 103-108
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
PDF: Download Publication (503 KB)
DescriptionWe briefly review the effects of climate (particularly drought and hurricanes), insect outbreaks, and fire on populations of migrant birds. An important feature of all of these natural disturbances is that they occur over a variety of spatial and temporal scales, thus precluding any simple generalization of their effects or of methods for mitigating those effects. We recognize that (1) natural catastrophic phenomena will inevitably occur; (2) an ecosystem will consist of a mosaic of patches that reflects the recurrence time and spatial extent of these disturbances; and (3) after some period a disturbed patch will recover. We therefore recommend that an appropriate goal is to have as a management unit a sufficiently large area (not necessarily contiguous) to contain some minimum number of patches that will be in a recovered state. This "incorporation" of disturbance is facilitated by increasing the size of the management unit or altering the size and/or frequency of disturbance. We suggest that the most pressing research need is to determine the characteristic scale of disturbances that are important and relevant to the species and habitats that we have an interest in preserving.
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CitationRotenberry, John T.; Cooper, Robert J.; Wunderle, Joseph M.; Smith, Kimberley G. 1993. Incorporating effects of natural disturbances in managed ecosystems. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Stangel, Peter W. (eds.). Status and management of neotropical migratory birds: September 21-25, 1992, Estes Park, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-229. Fort Collins, Colo.: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service: 103-108
Keywordsclimate, ecosystems, habitat destruction, migratory birds, natural disasters
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