FIRE, DROUGHT AND GRAZING INTERACTIONS IN NORTHERN MIXED PRAIRIE
Livestock and Range Research Laboratory (LARRL)
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Determine interacting effects of fire, weather and herbivory on northern mixed prairie communities.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
We will examine the resistance and resilience of rangeland plants to the interactions of fire, drought and grazing applied with varying levels of severity and different timing in field and laboratory experiments to indicate whether disturbances have additive effects on plant response. Treatment effects will be evaluated by measuring biomass, bud banks, plant species composition and plant diversity before and after treatment.
Seasonal sampling of buds and pre- and post-fire bud assessment for summer, fall, and spring fires have been completed for the year. Investigators narrowed down periods of bud production assessing phenological development. Winter sampling has now been added to the plan. Bud assessments have been added to examine seedling viability and fire, defoliation, and nitrogen effects on three-awn in support of other projects (refer to the reports for projects 5434-21630-002-00D and 5434-21630-002-06R).