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Project ID: 15-1-07-39

Year: 2015

Date Started: 04/01/2015

Ending Date:  03/31/2018

Title: Vegetation succession in post-fire seeding treatments

Project Proposal Abstract: In sagebrush and pinyon-juniper ecosystems of the Great Basin, post-fire vegetation recovery is often hampered by lack of fire-resilient perennials and the presence of invasive annuals, particularly cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Post-fire seeding is used by land managers working in these ecosystems to prevent cheatgrass proliferation, speed the recovery of desirable perennial plants and maintain ecosystem services such as soil stabilization, forage production and wildlife habitat. Post-fire seeding may also be used to restore native plant communities, but the common use of non-native plant materials may interfere with this goal. Few studies have examined the long-term effects of post-fire seedings on vegetation succession and ecosystem services or compared these effects for different seed mixes. We will re-measure vegetation attributes from a post-fire seeding experiment initiated 15 years ago to assess these effects over a timeframe of 15-17 years post-fire. The experiment compares four types of seed mixes (non-native, mixed native/non-native, low-diversity native and high-diversity native) applied using rangeland drills at burned sagebrush sites, and aerial broadcast seeding followed by chaining at burned pinyon-juniper sites. Data previously collected during post-fire years 1-3 will be augmented by new data for years 15-17. Following the first round of new data collection in 2015, we will compare plant species abundances of the different seed mix treatments, quantify weed suppression and other ecosystem services provided by these treatments, and compare 15th-year effects with those of the first three years. Further comparisons across treatments and years will be made after three years of new data have been collected, focusing on successional patterns and year-to-year fluctuations in community composition. This research will illuminate ecological costs and benefits of different plant materials commonly used in post-fire seed mixes and assist managers in their selection of treatment options.

Principal Investigator: Francis F. Kilkenny

Agency/Organization: Forest Service

Branch or Dept: RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Boise

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Agreements Contact

Cindy D. Gordon

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Budget Contact

Cindy D. Gordon

Forest Service

RMRS-Rocky Mountain Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Jeffrey E. Ott

Forest Service

RMRS-Forestry Sciences Lab-Boise


Daniel D. Summers


Division of Wildlife Resources

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Great Basin






Interior West





Fillmore Field Office

Project Deliverables

There is no final report available for this project.
There are no deliverables available for this project.

Supporting Documents

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