Landscape Ecology

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 725–740

Historical range of variability in eastern Cascades forests, Washington, USA

  • James K. Agee

DOI: 10.1023/B:LAND.0000014474.49803.f9

Cite this article as:
Agee, J.K. Landscape Ecology (2003) 18: 725. doi:10.1023/B:LAND.0000014474.49803.f9


The historical range of variability (HRV) has been suggested as a coarse filter approach to maintain ecosystem sustainability and resiliency. The historical range of variability in forest age structure for the central eastern Cascade Range in Washington State, USA was developed from historical fire return intervals and the manner in which fire acted as both cyclic and stochastic processes. The proportions of seven forest structural stages calculated through these processes were applied to the area of each forest series within the central eastern Cascades landscape. Early successional forest stages were more common in high elevation forest than low elevation forest. The historical proportion of old growth and late successional forest varied from 38 to 63 percent of the forested landscape. These process-based estimates are consistent with those developed from forest structural information. HRV is a valuable planning tool for ecosystem conservation purposes, but must be applied to real landscapes with consideration of both temporal and spatial scale.

Abies grandisAbies lasiocarpaCascade RangeFire ecologyFire historyHistorical range of variabilityLandscape ecologyPinus contortaPinus ponderosaPseudotsuga menziesii

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • James K. Agee
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Forest ResourcesUniversity of WashingtonSeattle