Forests in Time The Environmental Consequences of 1, 000 Years of Change in New England David R. Foster, Mr. John D. Aber

Publication date:
04 Apr 2006
496 pages: 234 x 156 x 27mm

The Eastern Hemlock, massive and majestic, has played a unique role in structuring northeastern forest environments, from Nova Scotia to Wisconsin and through the Appalachian Mountains to North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. A "foundation species" influencing all the species in the ecosystem surrounding it, this iconic North American tree has long inspired poets and artists as well as naturalists and scientists. Five thousand years ago, the hemlock collapsed as a result of abrupt global climate change. Now this iconic tree faces extinction once again because of an invasive insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid. Drawing from a century of studies at Harvard University's Harvard Forest, one of the most well-regarded long-term ecological research programs in North America, the authors explore what hemlock's modern decline can tell us about the challenges facing nature and society in an era of habitat changes and fragmentation, as well as global change.

David Foster, Audrey Barker Plotkin, Anthony D'Amato, Ben Baiser, Aaron Ellison, David Orwig, Wyatt Oswald, and Jonathan Thompson are scientific collaborators and colleagues at Harvard University's Harvard Forest.

"An important and timely addition to a growing literature that documents change and, by implication, underlines our responsibilities to that thing out there that we call 'nature.'" Michael Williams, Science "A must-read for anyone interested in the study of historical forest ecology and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem dynamics." Marc D. Abrams, BioScience "With excellent writing and editing, this book synthesizes nearly 100 years of ecological research conducted at Harvard Forest. Much more than a description of research, it provides a framework for ecological studies that is based on an understanding of historical influences on forest structure, composition, and function... It is one of a few select works that documents how the history of land use, climate, physiography and ecology interact to shape the contemporary landscape. It should therefore be on every forest ecologist's bookshelf. Highly recommended." Choice"