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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #383464

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Effects of managed fire on a swale grassland in the Chihuahuan Desert

Author
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Burkett, Laura
item LISTER, LETICIA - BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2021
Publication Date: 7/27/2021
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/7415279
Citation: Bestelmeyer, B.T., Burkett, L.M., Lister, L. 2021. Effects of managed fire on a swale grassland in the Chihuahuan Desert. Rangelands. 1-4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2021.05.001.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2021.05.001

Interpretive Summary: Fire is considered a critical process for limiting shrub encroachment and maintaining grassland structure and functions. Fire can be detrimental to grasses in upland settings of relatively arid desert grasslands, but no studies have been performed in more productive swale grasslands. Monitoring of a prescribed fire treatment in a swale grassland in southern New Mexico indicated that perennial grasses had not recovered after 5 years (in spite of above-average rainfall), indicators of erosion susceptibility increased, and shrubs resprouted rapidly.

Technical Abstract: Fire is considered a critical process for limiting shrub encroachment and maintaining grassland structure and functions. Fire can be detrimental to grasses in upland settings of relatively arid desert grasslands, but no studies have been performed in more productive swale grasslands. Monitoring of a prescribed fire treatment in a swale grassland in southern New Mexico indicated that perennial grasses had not recovered after 5 years (in spite of above-average rainfall), indicators of erosion susceptibility increased, and shrubs resprouted rapidly.