Full Citation: Laughlin, Daniel C.; Strahan, Robert T.; Huffman, David W.; Sánchez Meador, Andrew J. 2017. Using trait-based ecology to restore resilient ecosystems: historical conditions and the future of montane forests in western North America. Restoration Ecology 25(S2):135-146.
External Identifier(s): 10.1111/rec.12342 Digital Object Identifier
Location: Black Mesa Ranger District of the Apache?Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona, U.S.
Ecosystem types: Mixed-conifer forests
Southwest FireCLIME Keywords: None
FRAMES Keywords: climate change, bark thickness, community assembly, mixed conifer forest, reference conditions, wood density, fire regimes

Using trait-based ecology to restore resilient ecosystems: historical conditions and the future of montane forests in western North America

Daniel C. Laughlin, Robert T. Strahan, David W. Huffman, Andrew J. Sánchez Meador


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors examined the ability of trait-based ecological restoration to enhance forest ecosystem resilience under projected climate change and increased fire frequency.


Publication findings:

The authors suggest that manipulating plant assemblages based on traits, instead of historical reference conditions, that infer both drought and fire tolerance may be an effective method to increase forest resilience in an era of rapid climate and environmental change even if those communities have no-analog assemblages currently. For the western U.S., this includes managing for species with traits such as dense wood, tough leaves, and thick bark that can withstand increased fire frequency.

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

The authors suggest that manipulating plant assemblages based on traits, instead of historical reference conditions, that infer both drought and fire tolerance may be an effective method to increase forest resilience in an era of rapid climate and environmental change even if those communities have no-analog assemblages currently. For the western U.S., this includes managing for species with traits such as dense wood, tough leaves, and thick bark that can withstand increased fire frequency.