Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2004
Publication Date: 3/31/2005
Citation: Rose, J.L., Vermeire, L.T., Wester, D.B. 2005. First year richness and frequency response to summer fire and post-fire grazing. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts #291. On CD only. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In the Northern Great Plains of eastern Montana, it is generally accepted that two or more years are required for plants to recover following summer wildfire. However, support for this theory is limited. Research conducted in Miles City, MT examined the effects summer fire and post-fire stocking rate on species richness, frequency and density. Five treatments and four replications were randomly applied to twenty 2-ha plots. Treatments were: (1) no burn 0% use; (2) burn + 0% use; (3) burn + 17% use; (4) burn + 34% use; and (5) burn + 50% use. Fire was applied on August 29, 2003 and grazing treatments were applied early June 2004. Frequency and density of shrub and cacti species were recorded in 20 randomly placed 0.25-m2 circular rings in each plot. Species richness and frequency was measured in 0.25-m2 rings spaced at every meter along a permanent 25-m transect in each plot. Species richness increased from 5 to 7 species m-2 between years and was unaffected by fire and stocking rate. Across stocking rates, summer fire reduced annual grasses 18% and cacti 38% relative to non-burned plots. Fire and stocking rate effects were lacking for other herbage components, but most changed over time. Changes between years were likely influenced by the severe drought.