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    Author(s): Deborah M. Finch
    Date: 2008
    Source: Fire Science Brief. 7: 1-6.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (688.42 KB)


    The Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico is the most extensive, remaining bosque, or cottonwood forest in the southwest. Alterations caused by humans-damming and channeling the river, controlling floods, and planting non-native trees-have disrupted the cycles of the earlier ecosystem. Without periodic flooding, native cottonwoods cannot regenerate. Invasive exotic plants such as Tamarisk, also known as salt cedar, and Russian olive have filled in the gaps and open spaces, increased fuel loads, and continue to replace native trees and shrubs after wildfires. Cottonwoods, not a fire-adapted species, are now at risk from wildfire and replacement by invasive plants.

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    Finch, Deborah M. 2008. Pentimento: Fuels reduction and restoration in the Bosque of the Middle Rio Grande. Fire Science Brief. 7: 1-6.


    fuels reduction and restoration, Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, bosque, cottonwood

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