Introduction to natural disturbances and historic range of variation: type, frequency, severity, and post-disturbance structure in central hardwood forests
EXCERPT FROM: Natural Disturbances and Historic Range Variation 2015. Throughout the history of upland hardwood forests of the Central Hardwood Region, natural disturbances have been integral to shaping forest structure and composition, and essential in maintaining diverse biotic communities. In this chapter, we introduce the geographic scope and dynamic history of climate, natural disturbances, and human influence on central hardwood forests. We briefly introduce biotic and abiotic agents of disturbance to provide a foundation for the book and further discussion of whether and how historic disturbance regimes should guide forest management within national forests and other public lands.