1 Introduction</h5> In eastern forests of the United States, a wave of widespread and intensive timber harvesting occurred over a relatively short period (e.g., 1800 to 1920) following Euro-American settlement in North America. Extensive harvest promoted oak regeneration in predominantly oak forested ecosystems through release of advance regeneration and stump sprouts ( Williams, 1989; Aldrich et al., 2005 ). The regional scale of forest disturbance resets the age distribution and structure of oak forest ecosystems to dense oak forests by initiating oak regeneration as forests were harvested. Subsequently, suppression of fire in North America changed the disturbance regime to small-scale disturbances, which has promoted the shift to fire-sensitive species in forests of various successional stages at a large scale ( Nowacki and Abrams, 2008; Hanberry et al., 2012a ). Due to changes in land use, oak recruitment failure and decreasing dominance are occurring throughout eastern North American forests and worldwide ( Watt, 1919; Thadami and Ashton, 1995; Humphrey and Swaine, 1997; Niklasson et al., 2002; Svenning, 2002; Li and Ma, 2003; Hofmeister et al., 2004; Götmark et al., 2005; Pulido and Díaz, 2005; Strandberg et al., 2005; von Oheimb and Brunet, 2007; Zavaleta et al., 2007; Hédl et
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2014
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