NCEAS Project 2308

Analysis and synthesis of the historical range of variability in ecosystem structure and function of inland west forests: Implications for ecological restoration (Sabbatical Fellow)

  • Stephen C. Hart

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st August 1997—31st July 1998Participant List  


Management activities such as fire suppression, overgrazing, and selective logging since Euro-American settlement of the Inland West have resulted in forest ecosystems that are in a poor ecological condition. Current proposals to restore these forest ecosystems to their presettlement conditions suffer from the lack of a comprehensive assessment of the historical range of variability in ecosystem structures and functions of these forests. As a Resident Fellow at NCEAS on sabbatical leave from Northern Arizona University, I propose to conduct a comprehensive analysis and synthesis of the current state of knowledge regarding the historical range of variability of forest ecosystems of the Inland West. This analysis will include published manuscripts in professional journals, public documents from land management agencies, and unpublished data contained in graduate student theses or archived in researchers' databases. Other quantitative data such as those from early land survey records or qualitative data such as repeat photography will also be collected and analyzed. Process-based ecological simulation models will be used to assess changes in ecological attributes since Euro-American settlement, and to predict alterations in these attributes following restoration treatments (such as thinning and prescribed burning). Existing experimental data will be used to help verify simulation predictions. This comprehensive synthesis will aid land managers in predicting the potential impact of restoration efforts on ecosystem health in different forest-types, and evaluate the transportability of restoration practices across forests of the Inland West.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Report or White Paper Hart, Stephen C. 1998. Progress Report on the Analysis and Synthesis of the Historical Range of Variability in Ecosystem Structure and Function of Inland West Forests - Implications for Ecological Restoration. (Abstract) (Online version)
Journal Article Hart, Stephen C.; Sollins, Phil. 1998. Soil carbon and nitrogen pools and processes in an old-growth conifer forest 13 years after trenching. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne de Recherche Forestier. Vol: 28. Pages 1261-1265.
Journal Article Hart, Stephen C.; Perry, D. 1999. Transferring soils from high- to low-elevation forests increases nitrogen cycling rates: Climate change implications. Global Change Biology. Vol: 5. Pages 23-32.