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Project ID: 03-3-3-28

Year: 2003

Date Started: 07/29/2003

Date Completed: 09/01/2006

Title: Effects of Season of Prescribed Fire and Grazing on Understory Plant Communities in a Ponderosa Pine Forest

Project Proposal Abstract: In Region 6, prescribed fire is being applied to almost 100,000 acres, and 85 % of those acres are in the ponderosa pine type. Much of this forest type is also used for livestock grazing. A critical question facing forest managers is how timing of prescribed fire and grazing impact understory plant communities and exotic species. There is a great need for research examining grazing and fire effects. To address this issue, we established relatively large (0.03 ha), randomly located cattle exclosures on four stands as part of an ongoing season and interval of burn study. Our objective is to examine understory response to spring and fall 5-year interval reburns with and without cattle grazing. The study site consists of stands in a mixed-aged ponderosa pine forest with scattered western juniper in the Maiheur National Forest in the southern Blue Mountains of Oregon. Understory vegetation was measured (2002) prior to the 5-year reburns in all stands, including plots inside the cattle exclosures that were built. The 5-year fall reburns were successfully completed in October 2002, and spring rebums are scheduled for 2003. Presently, we lack sufficient funds to measure post-treatment response for the cattle exclosure plots built in 2002. Because of the importance of the question and urgency of taking advantage of the 5-year burn (fall 2002) and existing data, we were able to work with cooperators to plan this study and establish the exciosures. However, we are requesting funds to measure understory response within these exclosures in 2003 and to remeasure all plots (exciosure and non-exclosure plots) in 2004. Our proposed research addresses local scientific knowledge gaps that are significant to fire management program implementation and will provide critical insights into the complex relationships between season of burn, intensity of burn, grazing, and site level variables. Results from our study will improve our ability to predict changes in successional pathways and exotic species introduction and spread.

Principal Investigator: Becky K. Kerns

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Corvallis

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Walter G. Thies

Forest Service

PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Corvallis

Federal Cooperator

Becky K. Kerns

Forest Service

PNW-Forestry Sciences Lab-Corvallis

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Northern Rockies


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
view or print   2539 Journal Article Ecoscience
view or print go to website 3268 Journal Article Ecosphere
    695 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Ecological Society of America
    696 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Presentation of results to managers and scientists
    1000 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Tour of all stands - JFSP board members invited, as well as officials from Region 6.
    1282 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Presentation to Emigrant Creek Ranger District
    1283 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Presentation to Ochoco and Dechutes National Forest
    1284 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Presentation to Malheur National Forest
    1285 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Presentation to Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
    1286 Conference/Symposia/Workshop Presentation to the Umatilla National Forest
    1287 Field Demonstration/Tour  

Supporting Documents

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