I examine the historic distribution of oak savannas and woodlands, the role of climate change and human activities in the origin of these vegetation types, factors involved in the decline of oak savannas and woodlands, and possible changes in these communities resulting from future climate change and human activities. In mid-continent North America, oak savannas and woodlands were best developed along a North-South gradient from Minnesota to southeastern
Despite extensive loss of savanna and woodland habitat reasonably large areas with potential for restoration occur on low competition, low nutrient xeric sites. On these sites, oak savannas and woodlands may persist with appropriate management despite climate change. Nevertheless, as was the case with historic oak savannas and woodlands, intervention by humans, including fire management and efforts to reduce influx of invasive species or their removal once established, will be necessary to maintain these communities.