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Removal of perennial herbaceous species affects response of cold desert scrublands to fire

Author(s):

Bruce A. Roundy
Peter J. Weisberg

Year:

2017

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Rocky Mountain Research Station

Source:

Journal of Vegetation Science. 28: 975-984.

Description

Our results show that loss of perennial herbaceous species, which can result from inappropriate livestock grazing, and loss of shrubs, which often results from fire, interact to affect key functional groups. The implications are that ecosystem resilience to disturbance in Cold Desert shrublands decreases when competition from perennial native grasses and forbs for available resources no longer prevents dominance by A. tridentata and other shrubs and/ or annual invasive grasses. Managing livestock grazing to maintain or increase perennial herbaceous species, especially deep-rooted grasses, which contribute to resilience along elevation gradients, can help prevent threshold crossings to undesirable states and retain critical ecosystem services following disturbances such as wildfire.

Citation

Chambers, Jeanne C.; Board, David I.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Weisberg, Peter J. 2017. Removal of perennial herbaceous species affects response of cold desert shrublands to fire. Journal of Vegetation Science. 28: 975-984.

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/54500