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Project ID: 08-S-8

Year: 2008

Date Started: 06/01/2008

Date Completed: 05/08/2009

Title: Feasibility of a Chronosequence Approach to Identifying Post-Fire Effectiveness of Seeding Non-Forested Rangelands

Project Proposal Abstract: The DOl bureaus have spent many millions of dollars on emergency stabilization and burned area rehabilitation treatments in the past decade. A majority of these treatments used seeded native and non-native perennial species to reduce post-fire dominance of non-native annual grasses (e.g. cheatgrass), to minimize the probability of recurrent fire, and to produce desirable plant communities. Yet, land managers lack scientific evidence to determine if these treatments are achieving the desired outcomes, particularly after the initial monitoring period of three years. Currently, there are a number of new research and monitoring efforts underway which will eventually generate the necessary scientific data on the effectiveness of these treatments, but it will take many years to implement them, gather and analyze the data, and disseminate the results. In the meantime, DOl managers must continue to make decisions about post-fire treatments that involve spending tens of 'millions of dollars every year. While waiting for the results of these newly established experiments and monitoring, we believe that a chronosequence investigation may have merit and could provide managers with more immediate information about seeding effectiveness in different regions over time after treatment. This investigation would involve examining previously implemented post-fire treatments of different ages within the intermountain west and southwest bioregions (Columbia and Snake River Basins, Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and the Mojave, and Sonoran deserts) to determine how often, when, and where these treatments have been successful over the short (3-5 yrs) and long-term (> 5 yrs). Prior to undertaking a full chronosequence investigation, we propose to examine the feasibility of such a project by determining the quantity and quality of available information on past post-fire treatments in the area of interest. In addition to the existing data already gathered by the individual PI's involved in this project, we propose to collect the remaining available information from BLM field offices and other agencies/organizations that have conducted post-fire rehabilitation seedings in savannas, shrublands and grasslands in these regions. Once all available information on past projects has been obtained, it will be evaluated for its applicability for inclusion in the chronosequence study. Data gathered for each project will be required to meet a defined set of criteria to be acceptable for use in the larger study. Criteria may include the presence of specific data regarding the actual species seeded on a site, known extent and location of the treatment, existing monitoring plots with baseline data, and sufficient information on subsequent management actions. A final report detailing our findings, along with a database of ES&R projects will be submitted to the JFSP by December 31, 2008.

Principal Investigator: David A. Pyke

Agency/Organization: USGS-Geological Survey

Branch or Dept: FRESC-Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept


Michael J. Thompson

BLM-Bureau of Land Management


Co-Principal Investigator

Matthew L. Brooks

USGS-Geological Survey

WERC-Yosemite Field Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Jeanne C. Chambers

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Reno

Co-Principal Investigator

David S. Pilliod

USGS-Geological Survey

BRD-Snake River Field Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Troy Wirth

USGS-Geological Survey

FRESC-Corvallis Research Group

Federal Cooperator

David A. Pyke

USGS-Geological Survey

FRESC-Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

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.")

There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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