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Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest

Plant Ecology

By:
, , ,
DOI: 10.1007/s11258-008-9513-z

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Abstract

Throughout Pinus ponderosa-Pseudotsuga menziesii forests of the southern Colorado Front Range, USA, intense logging and domestic grazing began at the time of Euro-American settlement in the late 1800s and continued until the early 1900s. We investigated the long-term impacts of these settlement-era activities on understory plant communities by comparing understory composition at a historically logged and grazed site to that of an environmentally similar site which was protected from past use. We found that species richness and cover within functional groups rarely differed between sites in either upland or riparian areas. Multivariate analyses revealed little difference in species composition between sites on uplands, though compositional differences were apparent in riparian zones. Our findings suggest that settlement-era logging and grazing have had only minor long-term impacts on understories of upland Front Range P. ponderosa-P. menziesii forests, though they have had a greater long-term influence on riparian understories, where these activities were likely the most intense. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effects of past logging and grazing on understory plant communities in a montane Colorado forest
Series title:
Plant Ecology
DOI:
10.1007/s11258-008-9513-z
Volume
203
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Plant Ecology
First page:
99
Last page:
109
Number of Pages:
11