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Repeat photography samples were used to analyze how the structure and site-specific distribution of forests may or may not have changed during the past century in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Systematic evaluation of 146 photosets was combined with field observations to identify trends in vegetation change. Both conifers and deciduous trees (e.g., aspen) have increased in extent. Forest recovery from large disturbances that occurred during Euro-American settlement contributed substantially to this increase. Trees also encroached into grass/shrublands, but less than half of photosets show tree invasion, and invasion is more common in small grass/shrubland openings interspersed with forest than in large openings....
We used multiscale plots to sample vascular plant diversity and soil characteristics in and adjacent to 26 long-term grazing exclosure sites in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, USA. The exclosures were 7?60 yr old (31.2 � 2.5 yr, mean � 1 se). Plots were also randomly placed in the broader landscape in open rangeland in the same vegetation type at each site to assess spatial variation in grazed landscapes. Consistent sampling in the nine National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and other management units yielded data from 78 1000-m2 plots and 780 1-m2 subplots. We hypothesized that native species richness would be lower in the exclosures than in grazed sites, due to competitive exclusion in the absence of...