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    Characterizing the timing, severity, and agents of historic forest disturbances is critical to developing management and conservation strategies based on natural processes. Typically such information is derived from retrospective studies of remnant old-growth forests; however, this approach has limited application in regions dominated by secondary forests heavily influenced by past land-use. One striking example is the secondary aspen mixedwood forests of northern Minnesota, which have risen in both abundance and aerial extent, the result of post-settlement harvesting and subsequent land-use changes. Given their recent rise in abundance, as well as their dominance by relatively short-lived aspen, they have not been the focus of retrospective studies examining pre-settlement conditions. Using methods of dendrochronology, we reconstructed nearly a 90-year history of canopy disturbances and stand development for nine secondary mesic aspen mixedwood forests of northern Minnesota.

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    Reinikainen, Michael; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Fraver, Shawn. 2012. Repeated insect outbreaks promote multi-cohort aspen mixedwood forests in Northern Minnesota, USA. Forest Ecology and Management. 266: 148-159.


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    dendroecology, forest disturbance, forest stand dynamics, aspen mixedwoods, forest tent caterpillar, Populus tremuloides

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