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Accueil du site → Master → Etats Unis → 2013 → Small mammal and vegetative response to wildfire in the Trans-Pecos, Texas

SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY (2013)

Small mammal and vegetative response to wildfire in the Trans-Pecos, Texas

Edwards, John Thomas

Titre : Small mammal and vegetative response to wildfire in the Trans-Pecos, Texas

Auteur : Edwards, John Thomas

Université de soutenance : SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2013

Résumé
Fire has been an important factor in maintaining the health and integrity of semiarid grasslands in the Trans-Pecos for centuries. The response of the vegetative and small mammal communities to wildfire was assessed in the Marfa plateau region of the Trans-Pecos. Vegetation and small mammal data was collected between November 2009 and November 2012, encompassing pre and post-fire measurements. All data was collected along transects established within representative ecological sites. A burn assessment of the 36 vegetation transects indicated that 25 burned at 100%, 6 between 80% and 100%, 1 at 31%, and 4 at 0%. There were significant decreases in basal cover one season post-fire in all ecological sites, while fall forbs increased. Gaps between vegetation increased dramatically in size. There was a measureable increase in both perennial grasses and forbs for the spring and fall 2012 seasons, while gaps between vegetation were reduced. Small mammal populations had low abundance pre-fire, but saw a large decrease post-fire. Populations responded with vegetation growth and saw increases close to pre-fire levels by fall 2012. Precipitation was well below average for 2011, but was near average in 2012. Timing of the recovery of the landscape relies on climatic patterns, notably precipitation, and other ecological factors like grazing. Knowing how vegetative and small mammal communities respond to fire will give a more complete and accurate assessment of a landscape’s return to full health following a fire.

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