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    Author(s): D.H. Peter; D. Shebitz
    Date: 2006
    Source: Restoration Ecology. 14(4): 605-615
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.60 MB)


    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.

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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


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

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