Select a transition or restoration pathway
- Transition T1A More details
- Transition T1B More details
- Transition T1C More details
- Transition T1D More details
- Restoration pathway R1B More details
- Transition T2A More details
- Restoration pathway R1A More details
- Transition T3A More details
- Transition T5B More details
- Transition T5A More details
No transition or restoration pathway between the selected states has been described
The reference state was dominated by white oak and northern red oak. Periodic disturbances from fire, wind or ice maintained the dominance of white oak by opening the canopy and allowing more light for white oak reproduction. Long disturbance-free periods allowed an increase in more shade tolerant species such as northern red oak and sugar maple. Two community phases are recognized in this state, with shifts between phases based on disturbance frequency.
Existing reference states are uncommon. Some sites have been converted to grassland (State 4). Others have been subject to repeated, high-graded timber harvest coupled with domestic livestock grazing (State 5). Fire suppression has resulted in increased canopy density, which has affected the abundance and diversity of ground flora. Many reference sites have been managed for timber harvest, resulting in either even-age (State 2) or uneven-age (State 3) forests.
These forests tend to be rather dense, with an underdeveloped understory and ground flora. Thinning can increase overall tree vigor and improve understory diversity. Continual timber management, depending on the practices used, will either maintain this state, or convert the site to uneven-age (State 3) forests.
Uneven-Age Managed forests can resemble the reference state. The biggest difference is tree age, most being only 50 to 90 years old. Composition is also likely altered from the reference state depending on tree selection during harvest. In addition, without a regular 15 to 20 year harvest re-entry into these stands, they will slowly increase in more shade tolerant species such as sugar maple and white oak will become less dominant.
Type conversion of forests to planted, non-native pasture species such as tall fescue has been common in this MLRA. Steep slopes, abundant surface fragments, low organic matter contents and soil acidity make non-native pastures challenging to maintain in a healthy, productive state on this ecological site. If grazing and active pasture management is discontinued, the site will eventually transition to State 2 (Even-Age).
Forested sites subjected to repeated, high-graded timber harvests and uncontrolled domestic grazing transition to this state. This state exhibits an over-abundance of hickory and other less desirable tree species, and weedy understory species such as coralberry, gooseberry, poison ivy and Virginia creeper. The vegetation offers little nutritional value for cattle, and excessive stocking damages tree boles, degrades understory species composition and results in soil compaction and accelerated erosion and runoff.
This transition typically results from even-age forest management practices, such as clear-cut, seed tree or shelterwood harvests and fire suppression.
This transition typically results from uneven-age timber management practices, such as single tree or group selection harvests.
This transition is the result of clearing and conversion to non-native cool season grassland.
This transition is the result of high-grade harvesting and uncontrolled domestic livestock grazing.
This restoration pathway generally requires uneven-age timber management practices, such as single tree or group selection harvest, with extended rotations that allow mature trees to exceed ages of about 120 years.
This transition typically results from uneven-age timber management practices, such as single tree or group selection harvest.
This restoration transition is the result of extended rotations and minimal disturbance.
This transition typically results from even-age forest management practices, such as clear-cut, seed tree or shelterwood harvests.
This transition typically results from uneven-age timber management practices, such as single tree or group selection harvest, tree planting and no grazing.
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Major Land Resource Areas
The Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool is an information system framework developed by the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and New Mexico State University.