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The Pacific Northwest of the United States is currently embroiled in an acrimonious debate over the management of federal forest lands. Constructive resolution of this debate will require better information on a broad range of forest management issues. This study focuses on one such issue: the development of landscape pattern in response to alternative forest cutting plans and the degree to which established landscape patterns can be changed. Dispersed cutting has been conducted on federal lands in the western United States for >40 yr, but alternative cutting plans are now being considered. To assess the effects of different disturbance processes on the development of landscape pattern, we compare dispersed- and aggregated-cutting plans using a simple, rule-based simulation model that incorporates realistic regulatory and logistic constraints. Our results indicate that, once established, the landscape pattern created by dispersed disturbances is difficult to erase without a substantial reduction in the disturbance rate or a reduction in the minimum stand age eligible for disturbance. Change in landscape pattern can lag substan­tially behind change in the rules governing pattern generation.

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Ecological Applications





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Wallin, D.O., F.J. Swanson and B. Marks. 1994. Landscape Pattern Response to Changes in the Pattern-generation Rules: Land-use Legacies in Forestry Ecological Applications 4(3):569-580,

Copyright by the Ecological Society of America

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