Bunchgrass Ridge

Ecology and restoration of conifer-invaded meadows:
Research and adaptive management

Home > Research > 1. Conifer invasion
1. Patterns of conifer invasion
Study area
1. Conifer invasion
A. Spatial & temporal patterns
B. Extrinsic vs. intrinsic controls
2. Vegetation responses
3. Gopher disturbance
4. Restoration experiment
Key findings
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Knowledge of the timing and spatial structure of conifer invasion into meadows is critical to understanding the natural dynamics of forest-meadow mosaics and to establishing a baseline for assessing future change.

In this section, we present studies of the spatial and temporal patterns of conifer invasion at Bunchgrass Ridge and of the extent to which these have been shaped by extrinsic factors (changes in climate or disturbance regime) and intrinsic controls (interactions within and between tree species).

A. Spatial and temporal patterns
B. Extrinsic vs. intrinsic controls
Also see: Change in meadow extent
Change in extent
Waves of conifer invasion
BG Plot 3 stand map with tree species and age-cohorts coded
 grand fir - live
 lodgepole pine - live  
 grand fir - dead
lodgepole pine - dead
Symbol size approximates age
Successive waves of conifer invasion in a 1-ha plot. Lodgepole pine (now dead) and grand fir were the first to invade open meadow in the mid- to late-1800s. More recent (20th-century) invasion of lodgepole pine (some dead) and grand fir has filled large areas of adjacent meadow.