Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Disturbances are major drivers of ecological dynamics and it is the cumulative effects of disturbances across space and time that define a disturbance regime and dictate biodiversity by influencing the ranges of vegetation structures, compositions, and processes on landscapes. This range and variation of landscape characteristics under historical disturbance regimes can form an envelope of viable conditions that can serve as important benchmarks or references in land management. Historical range and variation (HRV) is the expression of the full range of landscape characteristics that occurred in the past, and its quantitative description can be an ecological reference for the assessment of landscape condition and health to be used in the design of proactive restoration treatments. This article describes disturbance regimes and how they create landscape mosaics that can be somewhat predictable in terms of the ranges of structure and composition, and then how this envelope of historical landscape conditions can be used to guide land management.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Keane, R. 2017. Disturbance regimes and the historical range and variation in terrestrial ecosystems. Reference Module in Life Sciences. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809633-8.02397-9.


    Google Scholar


    ecosystem management, feedback and interactions, landscape ecology, pattern, process, simulation modeling, spatial scale, wildland fire

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page