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
    Author(s): Daniel C. Dey; Benjamin O. Knapp; Mike A. Battaglia; Robert L. Deal; Justin L. Hart; Kevin L. O'Hara; Callie J. SchweitzerThomas M. Schuler
    Date: 2019
    Source: New Forests
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    For millennia, natural disturbance regimes, including anthropogenic fire and hunting practices, have led to forest regeneration patterns that created a diversity of forest lands across the USA. But dramatic changes in climates, invasive species, and human population, and land use have created novel disturbance regimes that are causing challenges to securing desired natural regeneration. Climate is an ever-present background disturbance and determinant of species distribution. Changes in certain other factors such as large herbivore populations, wildfire, and pests modify forest composition and structure, and are common barriers to natural regeneration of desired species. Changes in long-standing disturbance regimes have led to the homogenization of forest landscape composition and structure. Today, forests have low regeneration potential and are low in resilience. They have reduced productivity and are prone to widespread health issues including severe forest mortality. In addition to epidemics of native invasive species due to climate change and availability of habitat at landscape scales, the continued introduction and spread of non-native pests and diseases are causing large-scale forest mortality. These ecological changes have cascading ecological consequences such as increases in severe wildfire, which pose new barriers to natural regeneration. Equally challenging are the barriers to natural regeneration that arise from social, political and economic factors. To address many of these issues requires active management that links all critical stages in the regeneration niche necessary for achieving desired regeneration to sustain forest development and production in a socially acceptable manner and economically viable market system.

    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.


    Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Battaglia, Mike A.; Deal, Robert L.; Hart, Justin L.; O'Hara, Kevin L.; Schweitzer, Callie J.; Schuler, Thomas M. 2019. Barriers to natural regeneration in temperate forests across the USA. New Forests. 50: 11-40.


    Google Scholar


    Natural regeneration, North America, Silviculture, Sustainability

    Related Search

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