Disturbance, scale, and boundary in wilderness management
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): Peter S. White; Jonathan C. Harrod; J. L. Walker; A. Jentsch
Compiler(s): D. N. Cole; S. F. McCool; W. T. Borrie; J. O'Loughlin
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

  • disturbance
  • droughts
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • erosion
  • floods
  • hydrology
  • insects
  • natural areas management
  • plant diseases
  • storms
  • volcanoes
  • wilderness areas
  • wilderness fire management
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 28, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 45465
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20999
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.151/5:RMRS-P-15 v.2
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Natural disturbances are critical to wilderness management. This paper reviews recent research on natural disturbance and addresses the problem of managing for disturbances in a world of human-imposed scales and boundaries. The dominant scale issue in disturbance management is the question of patch dynamic equilibrium. The dominant boundary issue in disturbance management is the effect of boundary conditions on disturbance frequency and magnitude. Human property and attitudes outside wilderness areas influence management decisions on disturbances within natural areas.

White, P. S., J. Harrod, J. L. Walker, and A. Jentsch. 2000. Disturbance, scale, and boundary in wilderness management, in McCool, S. F., Cole, D. N., Borrie, W. T., and O'Loughlin, J., Wilderness science in a time of change conference: volume 2: wilderness with the context of larger systems. Missoula, MT. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station,Ogden, UT. 2, p. 27-42,Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2.