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Patterns and trends of early successional forests in the Eastern United StatesAuthor(s): Margaret K. Trani; Robert T. Brooks; Thomas L. Schmidt; Victor A. Rudis; Christine M. Gabbard
Source: Wildlife Society Bulletin. 29 (2): 413-424. [Editor's note: Victor A. Rudis, Southern Research Station scientist, co-authored this publication.]
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionWe assessed the status of early successional forest conditions for 33 Eastern States within the New England, Middle Atlantic, Great Lakes, Central Plains, Coastal South, and Interior South subregions. We used Forest Inventory and Analysis surveys to analyze trends from 1946 to 1998. Dramatic regional differences occurred in distribution of early successional forests. The northeastern region had the least proportion of young forest (16 percent), followed by the north-central (24 percent), and southern (29 percent) regions. The least amount of young forest occurred in the Central Plains (15 percent) and New England (16 percent), whereas the greatest occurred in the pine-dominated Coastal South (32 percent). Differences also existed among individual States, ranging from 3 percent (Illinois) to 38 percent (Alabama). Long-term declines also were evident within the northeastern and north-central regions. Selective harvesting, fire suppression, urban sprawl, and cessation of agricultural abandonment contributed to the present imbalance in distribution of young forests. Private ownership predominates in the East and presents a significant challenge to provide young forests. Absence of proactive management on private lands may promote continued declines in early successional forest within many eastern areas.
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CitationTrani, Margaret K.; Brooks, Robert T.; Schmidt, Thomas L.; Rudis, Victor A.; Gabbard, Christine M. 2001. Patterns and trends of early successional forests in the Eastern United States. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 29 (2): 413-424. [Editor''s note: Victor A. Rudis, Southern Research Station scientist, co-authored this publication.]
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