Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Fuel treatments alter native plant composition and increase non-native plant cover


Owen, Suzanne. 2010. Fuel treatments alter native plant composition and increase non-native plant cover. In: Klopfenstein, Ned B.; Geils, Brian W. Invasive Species Science Update (No. 4). Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 5-6.

Slash-pile burning and mechanical mastication are commonly prescribed fuel treatments for wildfire mitigation. Researchers from Flagstaff, AZ, and Spain recently published an article in Forest Ecology and Management that compared effects of the treatments on understory plant composition in Colorado pinyon-juniper woodlands (Owen and others 2009). Results showed that slash-pile burns had a different plant community composition compared to untreated areas. Pile burns were dominated by exotic plant species and had approximately six times less understory plant abundance and richness than untreated areas. Pile burns mainly consisted of exposed mineral soil, even 3.5 years post-treatment, and were surrounded by a ring of non-native musk thistle (Carduus nutans). No differences in plant cover or composition were observed between mastication-treated areas and untreated areas 6 months after treatment.

Keywords: fuel treatments, native plant, slash-pile burns


About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.


Download Article
http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2010_owen_s001.pdf

PDF File Size: 360 K


Title: RMRS Other Publications: Fuel treatments alter native plant composition and increase non-native plant cover
Electronic Publish Date: April 18, 2013
Last Update:
April 18, 2013

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us