Landscape Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 243–258

Reconstructing Landscape-scale Tree Invasion Using Survey Notes in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming, USA

Research Article


We assessed landscape-scale invasions of openings in mountain forests by native tree species since EuroAmerican settlement (ca. 1870–1899). We reconstructed historical openings across a 250,240 ha area in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming, using notes from the original General Land Office (GLO) surveys, and compared historical openings to modern openings interpreted from digital aerial photography. We constructed logistic regression models to describe and predict tree invasion, based on a set of environmental and land use predictors. Openings have decreased by about 7.3% in the last ca. 110 years. Invasion was more likely to occur on moister sites, indicated by high values for steady-state wetness, low values for evaporative demand, proximity to streams, and topographic settings in basins or channels. More invasion also occurred on unprotected public land, in openings surrounded by lodgepole pine and aspen, and on mesic soils. The relatively slow rates of invasion in the study area may be driven by climate and land use.


Forest-grassland ecotone GLO surveys Logistic regression Southern Rocky Mountains Vegetation dynamics Woody encroachment 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography, Department 3371University of WyomingLaramieUSA

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