J. Boone Kauffman

Contact Info

Northern Research Station
USDA Forest Service
271 Mast Road
Durham , NH 3824, United States

Publications in Fire Ecology

Native Bunchgrass Response to Prescribed Fire in Ungrazed Mountain Big Sagebrush Ecosystems
Pages: 86-96
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0603086

Fire was historically a dominant ecological process throughout mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana [Rydb.] Beetle) ecosystems of western North America, and the native biota have developed many adaptations to persist in a regime typified by frequent fires. Following spring and fall prescribed fires conducted in sites of different ecological conditions at the Lava Beds National Monument, California, USA, we examined the reproductive, density, and cover responses of four native bunchgrasses: bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata [Pursh] A. Löve), Thurber’s needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum [Piper] Barkworth), squirreltail (Elymus elymoides [Raf.] Swezey), and Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda J. Presl). High rates of survival and fire-enhanced flowering were measured following fires. Thurber’s needlegrass density decreased following spring burns in sites dominated by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) (from 3.3 plants m-2 to 0.8 plants m-2; P < 0.05). Density of bluebunch wheatgrass decreased following spring fires (from 3.7 plants m-2 to 1.9 plants m-2; P = 0.02) and cover was reduced in both spring and fall burn treatments (P = 0.04) in native dominated sites.  [Read More]

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