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Title: Long-term effects of burn severity on non-native plant cover

item SCHMIDT, MARTH - University Of Idaho
item HAMMOND, DARCY - University Of Idaho
item HUDAK, ANDY - Us Forest Service (FS)
item Newingham, Beth
item STRAND, EVA - University Of Idaho
item MORGAN, PENELOP - Desiderio Finamore Veterinary Research Institute (FEPAGRO)

Submitted to: Fire Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Effects of burn severity on non-native plant invasion post-fire is of great concern to managers and researchers, especially given predicted increases in large, high severity fires. However, little else is known about long-term (>10 year) vegetation recovery and non-native plant persistence. We analyzed non-native plant cover ten years post-fire to determine the effect of burn severity on non-native plants. We compared percent cover of non-native plant species between wildfires in southern California chaparral (2003 Old and Simi Fires) and dry ponderosa pine forests in central Colorado (2002 Hayman Fire). Preliminary analysis of the 12- or 13-year post-fire data show significantly higher non-native plant cover in the high severity burn (TukeyHSD, p=0.02) for the dry ponderosa fire, but no significant differences between burn severity classes for the chaparral fires (p=0.15) where non-native species were more abundant regardless of burn severity. While non-native species response to fire is clearly ecosystem specific, our data indicate that dry ponderosa forest types burned at high severity may be more susceptible to non-native plant invasion than those burned at lower severities. Therefore, mitigation of high severity burns should be a high priority of managers in dry ponderosa pine forest ecosystems.