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A review of fire effects on vegetation and soils in the Great Basin Region: response and ecological site characteristics

Author(s):

Richard F. Miller
David A. Pyke
Fred B. Pierson
C. Jason Williams

Year:

2013

Publication type:

General Technical Report (GTR)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-308. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 126 p.

Description

This review synthesizes the state of knowledge on fire effects on vegetation and soils in semi-arid ecosystems in the Great Basin Region, including the central and northern Great Basin and Range, Columbia River Basin, and the Snake River Plain. We summarize available literature related to: (1) the effects of environmental gradients, ecological site, and vegetation characteristics on resilience to disturbance and resistance to invasive species; (2) the effects of fire on individual plant species and communities, biological soil crusts, seed banks, soil nutrients, and hydrology; and (3) the role of fire severity, fire versus fire surrogate treatments, and post-fire grazing in determining ecosystem response. From this, we identify knowledge gaps and present a framework for predicting plant successional trajectories following wild and prescribed fires and fire surrogate treatments. Possibly the three most important ecological site characteristics that influence a site’s resilience (ability of the ecological site to recover from disturbance) and resistance to invasive species are soil temperature/moisture regimes and the composition and structure of vegetation on the ecological site just prior to the disturbance event.

Citation

Miller, Richard F.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pyke, David A.; Pierson, Fred B.; Williams, C. Jason. 2013. A review of fire effects on vegetation and soils in the Great Basin Region: response and ecological site characteristics. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-308. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 126 p.

Cited

Publication Notes

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/45208