Sustaining Cross-Timbers Forest Resources: Current Knowledge and Future Research NeedsShow full item record
Sustaining Cross-Timbers Forest Resources: Current Knowledge and Future Research Needs
Joshi, Omkar; Will, Rodney E.; Zou, Chris B.; Kharel, Gehendra
The Cross-Timbers region of the United States, situated in the southern Great Plains along the western edge of the eastern deciduous forest, was historically Quercus-dominated open forest interspersed with tallgrass prairie and shrubs communities. The historical structure of the Cross- Timbers forests in this region has been altered, mainly due to fire exclusion, such that the current structure is closed-canopy and includes a midstory of fire-intolerant species. This change has reduced many of the important ecosystem services provided. This paper synthesizes existing literature on the Cross-Timbers with the aim of summarizing the current state of Cross-Timbers management related to sustaining ecosystem services and identifying potential research topics and directions needed. Specifically, we consider the ecological, management, and socio-economic issues. In addition, we theorize how the adoption of active forest management will affect ecosystem services and structure of the Cross-Timbers forests.