Forest Succession 

Succession is the natural replacement of plant or animal species, or species associations, in an area over time. The amount of forest cover in New England over the past 300 years has changed drastically as a result of disturbances by humans ans the forest succession that followed once many farms were abandoned.

These changes have been depicted in a series od diorama by the Harvard Forest. All the important transformations of the landscape in the upland area of central Massachusetts since the pre-European-settlement period are shown in all the dioramas (follow the link below).  This historical perspective shows us that our forests have always been characterized by change.   They carry a strong cultural legacy of the past human activity.  These forests have been characterized by change, which should inform predictions of future forest development, as well as our attempts to change and manage them.   These seven of the Harvard Forest dioramas form a historical series that depicts changes in the New England landscape over the past 300 years at one location, to view these dioramas click on the link below.