Characteristics Of A Disturbance Event Or Regime Essay

1882 Words Sep 19th, 2016 8 Pages

The term disturbance is often associated with negative connotations. However, ecologically speaking, disturbance is a natural and vital process that can ultimately help facilitate the development of an ecosystem (Attiwill, 1994). In general, disturbance is an event that causes a change in the structure of an ecosystem, resource availability, and/or the physical environment (Turner, 2010). There are also disturbance regimes, which focuses on the temporal and spatial dynamics of disturbance on a longer time scale (Turner, 2010). The significance of a disturbance event or regime are dependent on three main properties: intensity, severity, and magnitude (Grayston, 2016a). However, when studying the significance of a disturbance event or regime, it is not only important to observe the disturbance itself but also the area that it has affected. For this, the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) system is of particular use as it groups similar landscape segments or ecosystems together, resulting in zones with a similar vegetation pattern, soil composition, and climate (Grayston, 2016a). There are over ten different BEC zones in British Columbia, while only three are present in Haida Gwaii: the Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH) zone, the Mountain Hemlock (MH) zone, and the Coastal Mountain-heather Alpine (CMA) zone (Grayston, 2016a). Commonly named after a predominant mature tree species, these zones span a large geographic area in the archipelago that experience…

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