Sustaining Young Forest Communities

The recent SRS publication Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA, addresses a variety of concerns raised by Forest Service managers and natural resource professionals regarding early successional habitats.

An in-depth look by ecologists, conservationists, and land managers, the book defines early successional habitats and explains why the plants and animals associated with these habitats may be declining. The books focus is the Central Hardwood Region of the United States, an area stretching across 10 eastern states from the New England coast to parts of Missouri and Arkansas. 

“In 2009, National Forest System managers and partners met to identify the science-based knowledge they needed to meet ecosystem restoration priorities,” said Katie Greenberg, SRS project leader and research ecologist. “They selected early successional habitats—defined as recently disturbed forests with absent or open canopy—as a major area where they needed syntheses of research to guide planning and management.”

Greenberg and co-editors Beverly Collins from Western Carolina University, and Frank R. Thompson, research wildlife biologist with the Forest Service Northern Research Station, also co-authored several of the chapters. 

“We aimed for each chapter to include state-of-the-art, research-based knowledge and expert opinion on aspects of young forests ranging from wildlife, to water, to carbon dynamics,” said Greenberg. “But it was equally important that we included a discussion on the implications of managing for early successional habitat in a larger landscape context.”

Chapter authors provide the latest information about young forest communities in a format suitable for land managers, natural resource community, university educators and their students. Chapters cover a plethora of topics including those that address bats, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fire, water, carbon dynamics, ecosystem processes, natural and forest management disturbances, sustainable management and the future of early successional habitats.

Sustaining Young Forest Communities, Volume 21 of the Managing Forest Ecosystems series, is available for purchase from Springer.  

Access the opening chapter of the book here

Additional chapters by SRS authors are available in full text on the SRS publications website.