• Prescribed fire effects on erosion parameters in a perennial grassland

      O'Dea, M. E.; Guertin, D. P. (Society for Range Management, 2003-01-01)
      A 2-year field experiment was undertaken to quantify the interacting effects of a late-spring prescribed burn and summer rainfall on seasonal runoff and erosion in a southern Arizona grassland. Six blocks with walled subplots (n = 24) were installed on a hillslope to measure changes to plant, soil, and hydrologic variables in response to treatments. Increased bulk density, erosion, and runoff volumes; and lowered plant cover and water intake rates were observed within the burned plots following the first summer season. In the second year, higher bulk density, runoff volumes, and erosion measures were again observed within the burned plots, as well as lower plant cover, aggregate stability, and water intake rates. The results of this study indicate that following late-spring burning, semi-desert grasslands are susceptible to greater summer runoff and erosion compared to unburned grasslands.
    • Understory species response to Utah juniper litter

      Horman, C. S.; Anderson, V. J. (Society for Range Management, 2003-01-01)
      A greenhouse study was conducted to determine the effects of litter leachate and litter depth of Utah juniper [Juniperus osteosperma (Torr.) Little] on seedling emergence and emergence rate of 8 common herbaceous understory species. Species tested were: ‘Secar’ bluebunch wheatgrass [Pseudoroegnaria spicata (Pursh) A. Love], bottlebrush squirreltail [Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey], cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), ‘Paiute’ orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), ‘Appar’ Lewis flax (Linum lewisii Pursh), ‘Delar’ small burnet (Sanguisorba minor Scop.), antelope bitterbrush [Purhsia tridentata (Pursh) DC.], and mountain big sagebrush [Artemisia tridentata spp. vaseyana (Rydb.) J. Boivin]. Three water treatments (distilled water, 1%, and 10% litter leachates) and 3 litter depths (0, 3, and 5 cm) were tested. Leachates decreased seedling emergence of orchardgrass and small burnet. Emergence rate was unaffected by leachate treatments. Seedling emergence of all species tested decreased significantly with increasing litter depth. Emergence rate was initially slower in pots with litter, but after 2 weeks no differences were found.
    • Vegetation of chained and non-chained seedlings after wildfire in Utah

      Ott, J. E.; McArthur, E. D.; Roundy, B. A. (Society for Range Management, 2003-01-01)
      After wildfires in 1996 in the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp.–Juniperus spp.) zones of west-central Utah, the USDI-BLM attempted to reduce soil erosion and cheatgrass proliferation (Bromus tectorum L.) through rehabilitation treatments. We compared the vegetation of aerially seeded, chained treatments with aerially seeded but non-chained treatments for 3 years following seeding. Vegetation cover increased significantly in both treatments between the first and second year, concurrent with above-average precipitation. By the second year, seeded grasses, primarily crested wheatgrass [Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.] and intermediate wheatgrass [Elymus hispidus (Opiz) Meld. and Elymus elongatus (Host) Runem.], dominated the chained treatment while cheatgrass dominated the non-chained treatment. Seeded grass establishment in non-chained areas was highest beneath dead trees on steep northeast-facing slopes. The first year following the fires, frequency of most annual species and some native perennial species was higher in the non-chained than chained treatment. Native species richness and diversity declined in both treatments between the first and third year following the fires due to the loss of early-seral native annuals and probably because of climatic factors and competition from seeded grasses and cheatgrass. This study reaffirmed the utility of aerial seeding followed by chaining as a rehabilitation technique for rapid establishment of standard plant materials and suppression of cheatgrass, although the implications for soil protection were less clear. Maintenance of native biodiversity on public lands will require greater development and use of native plant materials for wildfire rehabilitation. Planning for future rehabilitation needs is important in light of continuing wildfire risks.