Habitat management: see Swengels' papers

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Thu Jan 24 13:33:09 EST 2002

I had two questions asking about minimum dynamic area.  It's the idea that
to be viable for the long-term, your conservation area should be able to
absorb the worst that mother nature can throw at it.  So in Belize, the
recently created Golden River Conservation area of 30,000 acres just got
nailed by hurricane Iris and was completely defoliated  and most of the
forest simply snapped off.  M minimum dynamic area is probably over a
million acres in hurricane disturbance areas!

In prairies, where fire is the real wildcard disturbance factor, we usually
say that your reserve should be 5-10 time the size are a predictable
wildfire event.  While these vents originally might have covered 100,000
acres or more at a time, today (thanks to our road network) a major wildfire
might cover about 1,000 acres in Indiana grasslands.  So a reserve based on
minimum dynamic area would be at least 5,000 acres.

Other disturbance events which are predictable enough to plan for are wind
shear, tornado's, flood events, ....


John A. Shuey
Director of Conservation Science
Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy
1505 N Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202


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