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The Modern Forest Landscape (photograph by David Foster)

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In the period since the dioramas were constructed, the trends in forest development illustrated in the 1930 model have continued. Remarkable expanses of maturing forest extend across a densely populated landscape in the northeastern United States.

As these forests grow and mature and as dead and decaying wood accumulates on the ground, the forest landscape becomes increasingly natural in appearance and character. With time, too, early successional species decline and more shade-tolerant and long-lived species increase. Still, the legacy of land-use history persists in the distribution of species and the often abrupt transition between forest types. The stonewalls serve as a constant reminder of this land-use history.