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Natural forest succession and fire historyAuthor(s): G. E. Gruell; W. C. Schmidt; S. F. Arno; W. J. Reich
Source: In: Smith, Helen Y.; Arno, Stephen F., eds. Eighty-eight years of change in a managed ponderosa pine forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-23. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 5-9
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (320 B)
Description“Succession” is the term applied to a change or sequence of vegetation on a given site through time following disturbance. For example, a succession of plant communities that follows clearcutting with broadcast burning of slash might be (1) grass-forb, (2) shrubfield, (3) saplings and shrubs, (4) pole-size trees, (5) mature forest, and (6) old-growth forest. Succession also applies to the sequence of species that dominate a general community type. Thus, a forest stand may initially be dominated by ponderosa pine (a shade-intolerant tree), which gives way to inland Douglas-fir (intermediate in shade-tolerance), and finally to grand fir (shade-tolerant) with increasing time since disturbance. Forest managers need to be able to understand and predict succession because vegetation change greatly affects management for livestock grazing, wildlife, timber, fire and fuels, watershed, and recreational values.
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CitationGruell, G. E.; Schmidt, W. C.; Arno, S. F.; Reich, W. J. 1999. Natural forest succession and fire history. In: Smith, Helen Y.; Arno, Stephen F., eds. Eighty-eight years of change in a managed ponderosa pine forest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-23. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 5-9
Keywordsecosystem-based management, forest succession, prescribed fire, succession, vegetation
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- Ponderosa pine ecosystems
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