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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Population and Clonal Level Responses of a Perennial Grass Following Fire in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert

Authors
item Drewa, Paul - CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIV
item Peters, Debra
item Havstad, Kris

Submitted to: Oecologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2006
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Citation: Drewa, P.B., Peters, D.C., Havstad, K.M. 2006. Population and clonal level responses of a perennial grass following fire in the northern Chihuahuan desert. Oecologia. 150:29-39.

Interpretive Summary: We examined how clones and populations of black grama response following fire with and without livestock grazing in the northern Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico. Small, medium, and large clones were mapped prior to and for 2 years following fire. Maximum fire temperatures were measured as an indicator of fire intensity. Our results show that almost all responses were independent of grazing. Basal and canopy cover, recruitment, and clone basal area decreased with increasing fire temperatures. Fire did not kill clones regardless of size. Surviving clones resprouted rapidly following fire that was likely influenced by above-average precipitation, We conclude that additional studies are needed under different weather conditions.

Technical Abstract: Our objective was to evaluate effects of fire, grazing, and clone size on response of Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama) in southern New Mexico. Small, medium, and large clones were mapped in five 0.91-m2 quadrats prior and two years following fire and grazing treatments. Maximum fire temperature at ground level was measured as an estimate of fire intensity. Our results showed that almost all responses were independent of grazing. Basal and canopy cover, recruitment, and clone basal area decreased with increased fire temperatures. Fire did not kill clones regardless of size. Surviving clones resprouted rapidly following fire that was likely influenced by above-average precipitation, We conclude that additional studies are needed under different weather conditions.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014