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Influence of herbivory on regrowth of riparian shrubs following a wildland fireAuthor(s): Kathleen A. Dwire; Sandra E. Ryan; Laura J. Shirley; Danna Lytjen; Nick Otting; Mark K. Dixon
Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 42 (1): 201-212.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.43 MB)
DescriptionStreamside vegetation frequently regenerates faster than upland vegetation following wildland fire and contributes to the recovery of riparian and stream ecosystems. Limited data are available, however, on the post-fire growth of riparian species and the influence of herbivory on regeneration. To determine post-fire regrowth of riparian vegetation, height, crown area, crown volume, and browse levels were measured for key riparian shrub species in streamside burned and unburned plots along second-order streams in western Wyoming. Shrubs in the burned plots were subject to high levels of browse - up to 84 percent of the leaders were browsed - by native ungulates in 2002, the second post-fire year (September 2001 to September 2002). In summer 2003, the burned watershed was also grazed by livestock, resulting in increased browse levels and decreased shrub heights for several species. In the third post-fire year, September 2002 to September 2003, four of the six most common species showed no increase in crown area or crown volume, indicating that the combination of native ungulate and cattle browsing suppressed their growth. Potential impacts of grazing on post-fire recovery of stream and riparian ecosystems are discussed.
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CitationDwire, Kathleen A.; Ryan, Sandra E.; Shirley, Laura J.; Lytjen, Danna; Otting, Nick; Dixon, Mark K. 2006. Influence of herbivory on regrowth of riparian shrubs following a wildland fire. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 42 (1): 201-212.
Keywordswildfire, restoration, riparian ecology, post-fire regeneration, livestock, native ungulates
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