Using a terrestrial ecosystem survey to estimate the historical density of ponderosa pine trees in northern Arizona

Document Type



The Terrestrial Ecosystem Survey (TES) delineates ecosystems according to their climate, geology, soils, and potential natural vegetation (U.S. Forest Service 1986). Land managers and planners can use this information to help interpret site suitability for natural regeneration, reforestation, and revegetation potential as well as site suitability for road building, range and timber, range structures (watering sources), and other land uses. However, the TES can be used for other purposes as Ganey and Benoit (2002) demonstrated in their report about identifying potential habitat for Mexican spotted owl on national forest lands. Similarly, Bell and colleagues (2009) used the TES and its specific survey units (TESU) to analyze the characteristics of the Woolsey plots in northern Arizona—plots the Forest Service established in the early 1900s to examine tree regeneration. In our study, we identified historic ponderosa pine densities on various TES mapping units and then correlated our findings with what the TESU predicted we should find.


Arizona; History; Forests and forestry; Pinus ponderosa; Ponderosa pine


Desert Ecology | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Sciences | Forest Management | Forest Sciences | Other Environmental Sciences

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