Landscape Heterogeneity and Disturbance
AbstractThe vegetation of southern Wisconsin was a complex mosaic before settlement began in the 1830s (Curtis 1959; Davis 1977; Finley 1976). The pattern of prairie, savanna, marshes, and forests responded to a number of site conditions and disturbance regimes that were themselves under the influence of climatic fluctuations (Kline and Cottam 1979) so that the mosaic was, itself, dynamic. Thus, the pattern of vegetation that the agricultural settlers encountered in the 1800s was the result of a unique history of interaction between vegetation, environment, and disturbance regimes. The settlers then commenced to remove a large fraction of the extant natural vegetation, and to fragment and subject the remainder to a markedly different disturbance regime. We expect that the forest remnants show the impact of both presettlement and postsettlement disturbance regimes in this landscape.
Alternate TitleVegetation Dynamics in a Southern Wisconsin Agricultural Landscape