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Maine’s Ecological Reserves: A Scientific Wellspring for Monitoring Natural Forest Dynamics

Justin Schlawin1,* and Andrew Cutko2

1Maine Natural Areas Program, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, 90 Blossom Lane, 177 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. 2Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, 22 State House Station, 18 Elkins Lane (AMHI Campus), Augusta, ME 04333-0022. *Corresponding author.

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 28, Special Issue 11 (2021): 1–3

Maine’s Ecological Reserve system provides an important baseline for monitoring changes in ecosystem composition and function in a relatively unmanaged landscape setting. Ecological reserves are areas where timber harvesting and other forms of resource extraction are prohibited, and where natural disturbances may proceed without significant human influence. Since 2002, the Maine Natural Areas Program and The Nature Conservancy have been conducting a continuous forest inventory in Maine’s ecological reserves and encouraging the use of inventory data in research projects.

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