NCEAS Project 2291

Comparing large, infrequent disturbances: What have we learned?

  • Monica G. Turner
  • Virginia H. Dale

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Workshop19th—21st May 1996Participant List  

Members Only Area

The importance of natural disturbances in shaping landscapes and influencing ecosystems is now well recognized in ecology. Understanding of relatively small disturbances has increased rapidly, but large infrequent disturbances--such as volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, big fires, tornadoes, and floods--have not been well studied.

Whether very large disturbances are qualitatively different from numerous small disturbance remains an unresolved issue in ecology, in part because of a paucity long-term data on the effects of large-scale disturbances. Within the past two decades, several very large natural disturbances--such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, the Yellowstone fires of 1988, Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the floods in the midwest in 1993--have received considerable post-disturbance ecological research.

We propose a 2.5-day workshop to evaluate whether general conclusions about the ecological effects of large-scale disturbance are suggested.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Dale, Virginia H.; Lugo, Ariel; MacMahon, James A.; Pickett, Steward T. 1998. Ecosystem management in the context of large, infrequent disturbances. Ecosystems. Vol: 1 (6). Pages 546-557.
Journal Article Foster, David R.; Knight, Dennis H.; Franklin, Jerry F. 1998. Landscape patterns and legacies resulting from large, infrequent forest disturbances. Ecosystems. Vol: 1. Pages 497-510.
Journal Article Paine, Robert T.; Tegner, Mia; Johnson, Edward A. 1998. Compounded perturbations yield ecological surprises. Ecosystems. Vol: 1(6). Pages 535-545.
Journal Article Romme, William H.; Everham, Edwin H.; Frelich, Lee E.; Moritz, Max A.; Sparks, Richard E. 1998. Are large, infrequent disturbances qualitatively different from small, frequent disturbances?. Ecosystems. Vol: 1(6). Pages 524-534.
Data Set Romme, William H. 2008. Types of Response of Disturbance Impact to Increasing Disturbance Size. (Online version)
Journal Article Turner, Monica G. 1998. Comparing large, infrequent disturbances: What have we learned?. Ecosystems. Vol: 1. Pages 493-496.
Journal Article Turner, Monica G.; Baker, William L.; Peterson, Chris J.; Peet, Robert K. 1998. Factors influencing succession: Lessons from large, infrequent natural disturbances. Ecosystems. Vol: 1(6). Pages 511-523.
Report or White Paper Turner, Monica G. 1998. Progress report: Introduction manuscript - Comparing large, infrequent disturbances: What have we learned?. (Online version)