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Title: Landscape Change in the Midwest: An Integrated Research and Development Program
Author: Gobster, Paul H.; Haight, Robert G.; Shriner, Dave
Publication: Journal of Forestry. Vol. 98 no. 3.:p. 9-15. (2000)
Key Words: Landscape, Midwest, United States, land management, forest conditions, North Central Research Station
Abstract: Change happens. In the realm of forest landscapes, one of the great realizations of the late 20th century was that forests in the
United States and elsewhere often are not the stable systems we once thought them to be, attaining a final "climax" stage through the process of succession. Advances in forest ecology show that landscape change is the rule rather than the exception, and that natural disturbances at scales ranging from tree-tip mounds to 500,000-acre blowdowns
make forests dynamic and often unpredictable places (Pickett and White 1985; Botkin 1990). Human-caused disturbances also can profoundly change forest landscapes. Like forest ecologists, many anthropologists and
historians have questioned the idea of forests as stable systems; they contradicted the longstanding belief that preEuropean-settlement America was an untouched wilderness by showing that for millennia indigenous peoples actively and regularly used fire and other land management tools to create desired forest conditions (Denevan 1992; Pyne 1992).
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