Changing Forest


Change is constant in the rhythm of a forest. Always in transition, a forest is a dynamic community forever becoming a new version of its old self. Two fundamental forces drive the cycles of a changing forest: succession – the natural unfolding of new plant communities over time, and disturbance – such as those created by fire, disease or insect infestations. Together, succession and disturbance determine the ebb and flow a forest’s life.

The High Desert region is a complex landscape that features more than just sagebrush. This exhibit explains the role of forests and their dynamic nature in an arid environment. Learn about nutrient cycles, soils, impacts, wildlife and the influences of the dynamic trio: water, sunlight and air in the life cycle of a changing forest.