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Project ID: 01C-3-3-12

Year: 2003

Date Started: 05/06/2003

Date Completed: 09/28/2007

Title: Effects of Fire on Kuenzler's Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus fendleri variety kuenzleri), and Endangered Species in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert

Project Proposal Abstract: Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereusfendleri variety kuenzleri [Castetter, Pierce, and Schwerin] L. Benson]), currently listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of New Mexico, occurs in semiarid arid grasslands and shrublands in southeastern New Mexico. Current protective policies implement a 1 .6-km radius buffer zone around hedgehog habitat that is to be burned with prescribed fire. This policy is based on the assumption that fire is detrimental to this species. However, there is no published information on the effects of fire on hedgehog cactus. The proposed research will document short- and long-term effects of fire on Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus. Specifically, fire effects on this species will be related to micro-habitat characteristics (fuel load and fuel arrangement). Effects of season of burn and fire temperature will be experimentally studied. Data to be collected will include effects of fire on height, number of stems, epidermal tissue injury, and plant mortality. Additionally, this study will provide a micro-habitat characterization of this species that will be useffil for management. Data to be collected in this study will provide a scientific basis for developing protective measures for Kuenzler's cactus that will enable decisions about use of fire to be made in the best interest of the species and its associated habitat.

Principal Investigator: David B. Wester

Agency/Organization: Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Branch or Dept: Animal, Rangeland & Wildlife Sciences

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Carlton M. Britton

Texas Tech University

Department of Natural Resources Management

Federal Cooperator

Tye Bryson

BLM-Bureau of Land Management

Carlsbad Field Office

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


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
    175 MS Thesis Effects of Fire on Kuenzler’s Hedgehog Cactus (B.C. May)
    807 Progress Report Annual Progress Reports to JFSP

Supporting Documents

There are no supporting documents available for this project.

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