David W.Huffman, M. Lisa Floyd, Dustin P. Hanna, Joseph E. Crouse, Peter Z. Fulé, Andrew J. Sánchez Meador, Judith D. Springer. Forest Ecology and Management 465 (2020) 118087
Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests occur at their warmer, drier environmental limits in the Mogollon Highlands ecoregion (MHE) of the Southwestern United States, and are commonly found in stringers or discrete stands that form ecotones with interior chaparral. These “rear edge” forests are likely to be highly vulnerable to rapid changes in structure and composition with climate warming, drought, and wildfire. There is increasing interest in understanding historical conditions, ecosystem changes, and restoration needs for MHE forests. However, comprehensive reconstruction analysis of fire regimes and stand structure has not been done for these systems, which differ from many montane ponderosa pine forests by having an abundance of understory shrubs. In this study we used demographic data from field plots, fire scar samples, and dendroecology to reconstruct historical fire regimes and landscape structure at ponderosa pine-dominated sites that spanned a range of environmental conditions on the Prescott and Tonto National Forests.
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