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    Description

    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.

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    Citation

    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.

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    Keywords

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

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