Availability of foods of sage grouse chicks following prescribed fire in sagebrush-bitterbrush
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CitationPyle, W. H., & Crawford, J. A. (1996). Availability of foods of sage grouse chicks following prescribed fire in sagebrush-bitterbrush. Journal of Range Management, 49(4), 320-324.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractA study was conducted to determine the influence of prescribed fire on the availability of primary foods of sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus Bonaparte) chicks at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Lake County, Ore. from 1987 to 1989. Responses of certain primary foods and general food categories to fire were evaluated in sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana Beetle)-bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata Pursh.) communities with a randomized block design established in stands where shrub cover exceeded 35%. Within blocks, habitat response was evaluated for 2 growing seasons on 4 pots used as controls, 3 plots burned in November 1987, and 4 plots burned in March 1988. Fall burning increased (P < 0.05) frequency of taxa in the dandelion tribe (Cichorieae). Other primary foods, including microsteris (Microsteris gracilis Hook.), desert-parsley (Lomatium spp. Raf.), and ground-dwelling beetles (Scarabaeidae, Tenebrionidae) were not influenced by burning. Spring and fall burning increased (P < 0.05) total forte cover and diversity, but decreased (P < 0.05) sagebrush cover. Prescribed fire may increase the supply of forbs available to sage grouse in montane sagebrush habitats used for brood-rearing where shrubs dominate stands at the expense of the herbaceous component.