1 Introduction</h5> Identification of changes in forest composition provides information about current trajectories and potentially, future forests. Historically, presence and type of fire regime was a major determinant of forest types in the eastern United States. Open forest ecosystems of fire-tolerant oak or pine species covered most of the eastern United States, where indigenous cultures were agrarian and used frequent surface fire as a tool ( Delcourt et al., 1998; Fuller et al., 1998; Lorimer, 2001; Cogbill et al., 2002; Black et al., 2006; Nowacki and Abrams, 2008; Hanberry et al., 2012a, 2012b ). Regular stand-replacing fires (50–150 year return intervals) in northern mixed forests produced dense tamarack, aspen, and birch forests with variable densities of pine ( Frelich and Reich, 1995; Hanberry et al., 2012b ). In regions where there was not a fire regime, due to fire breaks or environmental limits on agriculture, mature forests of American beech ( Fagus grandifolia ; see Tables 1 and 2 for scientific names of other species), sugar maple, and eastern hemlock developed in eastern broadleaf forests, spruce and fir in northern mixed forests, probably American beech along with relatively long-lived species such as yellow-poplar ( Liriodendron tulipifera ) and
Forest Ecology and Management – Elsevier
Published: Oct 15, 2013
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