Restoring ecosystem health in ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest

Wallace W Covington, Peter Z Fule, Margaret M Moore, S. C. Hart, Thomas E Kolb, J. N. Mast, S. S. Sackett, M. R. Wagner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

441 Scopus citations


This paper describes an integrated set of research projects designed to reconstruct a reasonable approximation of a naturally-functioning ecosystem, using ecological restoration techniques. Alongside this, ecosystem health attributes of the southwestern (US) ponderosa pine ecosystem were determined. Preliminary results were encouraging, notably the combination of thinning and burning. The reduction in tree competition improved moisture availability and is likely to have increased the insect resistance of pre-settlement trees. Grasses, forbs and shrubs responded favourably, indicating a shift away from a net primary productivity dominated by pine trees, toward a more diverse balance across a broad variety of plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJournal of Forestry
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Forestry
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Covington, W. W., Fule, P. Z., Moore, M. M., Hart, S. C., Kolb, T. E., Mast, J. N., Sackett, S. S., & Wagner, M. R. (1997). Restoring ecosystem health in ponderosa pine forests of the Southwest. In Journal of Forestry (4 ed., Vol. 95, pp. 23-29)