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Shah-Kan-Daw: Anthropogenic simplification of semi-arid vegetation structureAuthor(s): David A. Charlet
Source: In: Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Monaco, Thomas A.; Vernon, Jason, comps. 2008. Proceedings-Shrublands under fire: disturbance and recovery in a changing world; 2006 June 6-8; Cedar City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-52. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 5-24
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (745 B)
DescriptionSemi-arid shrublands and woodlands of Nevada are changing in the face of many daunting challenges. I compare Nevada to Iran to understand these challenges better, because Iran and Nevada have similar climate, geology, physiography, and latitude. Floristically, Iran and Nevada share many dominant genera, and many of Nevada?s troubling invasive species are native to Iran. Yet, Iran is different in its long history of civilization and concomitant human exploitation of the landscape. Thus, we can look to Iran to gain insight into possible outcomes of our management actions in our remaining wild shrublands. The structure of Iranian vegetation is simple compared to that of Nevada. It usually possesses only a single canopy layer and has low shrub species diversity, producing one-dimensional vegetation of low value for wildlife. The Iranian flora shows the mark of long-term grazing and fire disturbance. In spite of enormous mountains, woodlands and montane forests are virtually non-existent. Nevada?s vegetation, in spite of the challenges it faces, is in far better condition than the vegetation of Iran. However, if we allow the processes that simplify vegetation to gain momentum, then we can look to Iran to see our monotonic future.
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CitationCharlet, David A. 2008. Shah-Kan-Daw: Anthropogenic simplification of semi-arid vegetation structure. In: Kitchen, Stanley G.; Pendleton, Rosemary L.; Monaco, Thomas A.; Vernon, Jason, comps. 2008. Proceedings-Shrublands under fire: disturbance and recovery in a changing world; 2006 June 6-8; Cedar City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-52. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 5-24
Keywordswildland shrubs, disturbance, recovery, fire, invasive plants, restoration, ecology, microorganisms
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