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Research Project Summary: Short-term effects of early fall prescribed fire on herbaceous species and arthropods important in the diet of greater sage-grouse in Wyoming big sagebrush habitats


Table of Contents:



RESEARCH PROJECT SUMMARY CITATION:
Innes, Robin J.; Fryer, Janet L., comps. 2016. Research Project Summary: Short-term effects of early fall prescribed fire on herbaceous species and arthropods important in the diet of greater sage-grouse in Wyoming big sagebrush habitats. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/research_project_summaries/Wrobleski99/all.html [].

Introductory: This document summarizes information from a project at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Oregon, that studied the effects of prescribed fires on important foods of prelaying greater sage-grouse females and chicks. As of 2007, prescribed fire is no longer used in sagebrush communities on this refuge in order to preserve existing sagebrush habitat for greater sage-grouse and to reduce spread of cheatgrass, a nonnative annual grass [8]. This summary:

Studies summarized in FEIS Research Project Summaries are selected based on their integration of fire effects information with relatively complete descriptions of burned and unburned vegetation, burning conditions, fire weather, and fire behavior.

Common names are used throughout this summary. For a complete list of the common and scientific names of species mentioned in this summary and links to FEIS Species Reviews, see Appendix A and Appendix B.

Sources: Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this Research Project Summary comes from the following sources:

Wrobleski, David W. 1999. Effects of prescribed fire on Wyoming big sagebrush communities: implications for ecological restoration of sage grouse habitat. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 76 p. Thesis [10].

Wrobleski, David W.; Kauffman, J. Boone. 2003. Initial effects of prescribed fire on morphology, abundance, and phenology of forbs in big sagebrush communities in southeastern Oregon. Restoration Ecology. 11(1): 82-90 [11].

Figure 1. Greater sage-grouse hen in Wyoming big sagebrush habitat at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Photo used with permission of Tiffany Linbo, NWBirding.com.

SITE DESCRIPTION AND METHODS:
This study was conducted on the northeastern portion of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, in a Wyoming big sagebrush community. Elevation ranges from 5,085 to 5,300 feet (1,550-1,615 m), with level topography. Soils are a cobbly clay-loam of the Ratto-Coglin complex. Annual precipitation at the refuge headquarters averages 11.4 inches (290 mm). Annual precipitation averaged 9.8 inches (249 mm) in 1997 (year of the fire) and 18.0 inches (456 mm) in 1998 (postfire year 1). Livestock had not grazed the site since 1991. Prior to the 1997 prescribed fire, the site had not burned for >50 years [10,11].

Plant response to prescribed fire was evaluated on 8 adjacent, ~1,000-acre (~400-ha) plots. Four plots were randomly chosen for prescribed fire treatments. Pre- and postfire cover and frequency of plant species were measured on randomly placed 66-foot (20-m) transects, with 48 to 50 transects/plot.

Abundance of ground-dwelling arthropods was measured on systematically placed grids, with 15 grids/plot. Within each grid, 4 traps (plastic cups) were inserted in an 11-foot² (1-m²) area of soil. For postfire sampling, grids were located in unburned plots and burned portions of burned plots. Traps were sampled from 1 to 7 June 1997 (prefire) and from 1 to 7 June 1998 (postfire) [10], a week when young greater sage-grouse chicks consume arthropods heavily [3,6,7].

PREFIRE PLANT COMMUNITY AND FUELS:
Before prescribed burning, total shrub cover was 26% (SE 1.6%) on plots selected for burning (hereafter, burned plots) and 24% (SE 1.5%) in unburned plots. Wyoming big sagebrush cover (22%) comprised 87% of all shrub cover on all plots. Spiny hopsage and broom snakeweed were also present (2.7% total cover). Total prefire shrub density ranged from 6,501 to 11,773 plants/acre (16,063-29,091 plants/ha) on burned plots. Small communities dominated by low sagebrush and basin big sagebrush occurred in the study area but were not sampled [10].

There were 8 species of grasses present on study plots. Squirreltail and Sandberg bluegrass were dominant, with 44% and 40% prefire frequency, respectively. Cheatgrass had 21% prefire frequency. Forty species of perennial forbs and 29 species of annual forbs were observed during the study (Appendix A). Nineteen of these were chosen for detailed study (Table 3) [10].

Study sites are classified as Intermountain basins big sagebrush steppe. LANDFIRE has modeled fire regimes characteristics of the vegetation community as follows [5]:

Table 1. Fire regime information on the vegetation community studied in this Research Project Summary. Fire regime data are derived from LANDFIRE succession modeling of Biophysical Settings (BpS) [5]. This vegetation model was developed by local experts using available literature, local data, and expert opinion, documented in the PDF file linked from the Biophysical Setting listed below.
Region Biophysical setting name Fire Regime Group
Fire interval¹
(year)
Fire severity² (% of fires)
Replacement Mixed Low
Pacific Northwest Intermountain basins big sagebrush steppe III 48 51 46 3
¹Average historical fire-return interval derived from LANDFIRE succession modeling (labeled "MFRI" in LANDFIRE).
²Percentage of fires in 3 fire severity classes, derived from LANDFIRE succession modeling. Replacement-severity fires cause >75% kill or top-kill of the upper canopy layer; mixed-severity fires cause 26%-75%; low-severity fires cause <26% [1,4].

Prefire fuel moisture and biomass and understory fuel consumption are provided in Table 2. No further information on fuels was provided.

PLANT PHENOLOGY:
Most plant species were setting seed at the time of the fire [11].

FIRE SEASON AND SEVERITY:
early fall; replacement-severity, mosaic fire [10,11]

FIRE DESCRIPTION:
The objective of this study was to determine the responses of herbaceous species and arthropods important in the diets of greater sage-grouse to early fall prescribed fire. Morphology, phenology, abundance, and reproductive characteristics (flowering) were used to measure postfire responses of important herbs [10,11]. Soil traps were used to estimate pre- and postfire abundance of important arthropods [10].

Plots selected for burning were ignited with a helitorch from 23 to 28 September 1997 (near the end of the fire season), utilizing strip-head or ring-fire ignition patterns [10,11]. Fire data are shown below.

Table 2. Weather, fuel, and fire behavior measurements (ranges) from prescribed fires in Wyoming big sagebrush plots [10,11]
Fire variable Range
Ambient temperature 66-82 °F (18.7-27.5 °C)
Relative humidity 17%-24%
Wind speed 4-6 mph (6.4-9.7 km/hr)
Cloud cover <10%
Most recent precipitation >2 weeks before ignition
Prefire understory biomass 1,124-1,624 lbs/acre (1,260–1,820 kg/ha)
Prefire overstory biomass 2845-3,260 lbs/acre (3,188–3,653 kg/ha)
1-hr fuel moisture 4.4%–6.5%
10-hr dead fuel moisture 5.5%–8.0%
Flame height 6.6-12.0 feet (2.0-3.7 m)
Flame length 6.6-14.4 feet (2.0-4.4 m)
Flame depth 6.6-25.6 feet (2.0-7.8 m)
Rate of spread 15-39.4 feet/minute (4.6-12 m/minute)
Residence time 0.6-2.6 minutes
Mean Byram's fireline intensity 1,321 kW/m
Mean reaction intensity 302 kW/m²
Area burned 36%–62%
Overstory consumption on burned areas 100%
Understory consumption on burned areas 60%-93%

FIRE EFFECTS ON PLANT COMMUNITY, INSECTS, AND LITTER LAYER:
The prescribed fires created a mosaic of burned and unburned patches. An average of 47% (SE 12%) of the burned plots actually burned. Only burned areas of the burned plots were sampled. The authors set significance for abundance variables at P=0.10 and significance for morphological, phenological, and reproductive characteristics at P=0.20 [10,11].

Shrubs: The number of seed-bearing plants of the 3 most abundant shrub species?Wyoming big sagebrush, spiny hopsage, and broom snakeweed?was greatly reduced on burned plots. Fire killed all Wyoming big sagebrush plants within burned portions of the burned plots. However, about 8 to 48 Wyoming big sagebrush seedlings/acre (20-120 seedlings/ha) were present on burned plots in postfire year 1. Scattered spiny hopsage germinants and shortspine horsebrush seedlings were observed in burned areas, although none occurred on transects. Number of reproductive shoots (257 vs. 80), vegetative shoots (510 vs. 149), and total shoots (767 vs. 229) per plant was greater on shrubs along burn edges than on shrubs in unburned interiors (P=0.008) [10].

Grasses: Total grass cover decreased after fire (P=0.13). Cover of perennial grasses declined from an average of 9% before fire to 5% after fire (P=0.10), while cover of perennial grasses in unburned plots declined from 10% before fire to 9% after. Burning had no significant effect on cover of tall (≥7 inches (18 cm)) grasses (<2% decrease on burned plots vs. no change in unburned plots) or annual grasses (1%-2% cover in both burned and unburned plots), or density of tall perennial bunchgrasses (2.7 plants/m? on burned and 2.2 plants/ m? on burned plots). Of the 8 grass species present, squirreltail, Sandberg bluegrass, and cheatgrass were the most frequent grass species both before and after fire. There were no significant differences in postfire frequency of these grasses between burned and unburned plots [10]. See Appendix A for frequency values of individual species on burned and unburned plots before and after fire.

Forbs:
Abundance: Total forb cover increased after fire (P=0.012). Total cover of annual forbs increased from 3% before fire to 19% after fire on burned plots and from 3% before fire to 8% after fire on unburned plots (P=0.10). No significant differences were detected in total cover of perennial forbs [10]. Out of 19 forb species tested for “overall abundance” (i.e., density, frequency, and relative abundance), overall abundance was lower on burned than unburned plots for cushion buckwheat (P=0.002), longleaf phlox (P=0.164), low pussytoes (P=0.008), Modoc hawksbeard (P=0.059), and tapertip hawksbeard (P=0.001). Out of 9 common forb species tested on individual abundance measures (density, frequency, or relative abundance), at least one individual abundance measure was lower in burned than unburned plots for longleaf phlox, low pussytoes, and Modoc hawksbeard (P=0.10) [10,11] (Table 3).

Table 3. Mean density, frequency, and relative abundance (SE) of 19 forb species important in greater sage-grouse diets [10]
Species
Density (%)
Frequency (individuals/10 m²)
Relative abundance
Unburned Burned Unburned Burned Unburned Burned
arcane milkvetch 2 (0.6) 0.2 (0.1) 6 (2.0) 1.2 (0.5) 3 (0.8) 0.5 (0.2)
broadsheath desertparsley 0.01 (0.0) 0.1 (0.1) 0 (0) 0.1 (0.1) 0.01 (0.01) 0.02 (0.02)
Canby's biscuitroot* 2 (2.2) 0.2 (0.1) 5 (3.7) 1 (0.4) 3 (2.3) 0.3 (0.2)
cushion buckwheat 5 (0.7) 0.5 (0.2) 19 (0.9) 3 (1.1) 8 (0.5) 0.9 (0.3)
Donnell's biscuitroot 3 (1.7) 0.5 (0.5) 11 (7.5) 2 (2.0) 3 (1.8) 0.6 (0.6)
longleaf phlox* 38 (9.1) 25 (6.8) 41 (5.8) 24 (4.5) 24 (4.0) 12 (2.1)
low pussytoes* 1 (0.4) 0.2 (0.1) 8 (1.8) 1 (0.3) 2 (0.7) 0.4 (0.1)
Modoc hawksbeard* 20 (9.7) 12 (7.4) 47 (7.6) 29 (8.0) 24 (6.2) 11 (2.7)
Nevada biscuitroot* 3 (1.9) 3 (2.0) 11 (6.5) 12 (7.0)

6 (3.3)

6 (3.1)
nineleaf biscuitroot 0.01 (0.0) 0 (0) 0.1 (0.1) 0 (0) 0.01 (0.01) 0 (0)
pale agoseris 0.6 (0.4) 0.2 (0.1) 1 (0.6) 0.5 (0.2) 0.5 (0.4) 0.2 (0.1)
sagebrush false dandelion 0.01 (0.0) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.2 (0.2) 0.01 (0.01) 0.1 (0.1)
shaggy milkvetch* 3 (0.8) 3 (0.9) 12 (3.9) 14 (4.2) 4 (1.2) 5 (1.5)
matted buckwheat 0.2 (0.1) 0.02 (0.02) 0.9 (0.5) 0.1 (0.1) 0.2 (0.1) 0.01 (0.01)
slender phlox* 40 (15.4) 53 (12.4) 29 (6.4) 40 (5.4) 19 (5.5) 25 (4.2)
tapertip hawksbeard 0.8 (0.3) 0.3 (0.2) 3 (1.1) 1 (0.7) 1 (0.2) 0.4 (0.3)
Watson's desertparsley* 2 (1.1) 0.3 (0.2) 7 (5.0) 2 (1.0) 3 (2.1) 1 (0.2)
wickerstem buckwheat 7 (4.0) 8 (3.3) 2 (1.4) 1 (1.1) 1 (1.0) 1 (0.6)
woollypod milkvetch* 2 (0.7) 1 (0.3) 12 (4.1) 8 (1.4) 4 (1.2) 3 (0.6)
*These 9 common forb species were tested for significant differences; bold font indicates a significant difference between unburned and burned plots (P=0.10).

Morphology and reproduction: Morphological and reproductive characteristics were measured in 9 common forb species eaten by greater sage-grouse: Canby's biscuitroot, longleaf phlox, low pussytoes, Modoc hawksbeard, Nevada biscuitroot, shaggy milkvetch, slender phlox, Watson's desertparsley, and woollypod milkvetch. Because the species differed in morphology and flowering characteristics, 2 or 3 variables most accurately representing each species' growth form were measured (e.g., crown volume, number of racemes, and flowers/raceme for shaggy milkvetch). Vegetative and reproductive characteristics of desertparsley, longleaf phlox, Modoc hawksbeard, Nevada biscuitroot, shaggy milkvetch, and slender phlox increased after burning (P=0.20), and was lower for low pussytoes on burned than unburned plots (P=0.176) [11]. Mean crown area was less on burned than unburned plots for low pussytoes (P=0.09), while mean crown volume was greater on burned than unburned plots for Modoc hawksbeard (P=0.04) and shaggy milkvetch (P=0.09) [10,11].

Flower production was higher on burned than unburned plots for several forbs. Longleaf phlox and Modoc hawksbeard plants produced reproductive parts on burned than unburned plots (P=0.10). Number of inflorescences (heads, umbels, or racemes) was greater on burned than unburned plots for desertparsley (Canby's biscuitroot, Nevada biscuitroot, and Watson's desertparsley combined) (P=0.01), Modoc hawksbeard (P=0.07), Nevada biscuitroot (P=0.06), and shaggy milkvetch (P=0.02). Number of flowers (or umbellets) was greater on burned than unburned plots for desertparsley (Canby's biscuitroot and Watson's desertparsley combined) (P=0.09), Nevada biscuitroot (P=0.005), and slender phlox (P=0.006). The number of flowers/cm? of plant volume was greater on burned than unburned plots for longleaf phlox (P=0.02), and the number of flowers/raceme was greater on burned than unburned plots for shaggy milkvetch (P=0.03) [10,11].

Phenology: Phenological characteristics were also measured for the 9 common forbs. For each forb species, the percent of green and succulent plants at the end of the growing season was greater on burned than unburned plots. Modoc hawksbeard and Nevada biscuitroot initiated preanthesis (the bud stage of flower development) earlier and flowered 14 and 12 days earlier on burned than unburned plots, respectively. For most of the 9 species, plant reproductive parts senesced later on burned than unburned plots (P=0.10 for all variables). However, time of senescence was similar on burned and unburned plots for longleaf phlox and woollypod milkvetch [10,11].

Species diversity: There were no significant differences in alpha diversity (species/transect) or gamma diversity (species/plot) between burned and unburned plots. However, the combination of burned and unburned plots on the landscape increased species richness compared to prefire levels [10].

Insects: Abundance (individuals/trap) of ground-dwelling arthropods (beetles, ants, and other arthropods) was greater on burned than unburned plots (P=0.126). Ant numbers were greater on both burned and unburned plots after the fires than before; however, increases were almost 20% greater on burned (+116 individuals/trap) than on unburned (+6 individuals/trap, P=0.02) plots. Change in Coleoptera abundance was similar on burned and unburned plots (about +7 individuals/trap) [10] (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Mean number of beetles (Coleoptera), ants (Formicidae, order Hymenoptera), and other arthropods in burned and unburned plots.
*Indicates a significant treatment effect for other arthropods at P=0.10.

Litter: Cover of litter decreased on both burned and unburned plots, but decreases were greater on burned (from 68% to 22% cover) than unburned (from 71% to 53% cover) plots (P=0.10).

FIRE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS:
Total cover of forbs increased 1 year after the early fall prescribed fire (P=0.012). Annual forb cover generally increased after fire, while perennial forb cover was similar between burned and unburned plots. Increased annual forb cover may provide abundant foods for prelaying greater sage-grouse females and chicks by providing additional foods near adequate cover [10].

Growth and reproductive responses of forbs varied by species. For example, crown volume of Modoc hawksbeard and shaggy milkvetch increased on burned plots compared to unburned plots while that of low pussytoes decreased. Overall flower production of forbs was greater on burned than unburned plots the year after the fire [10,11]. Increased flowering may provide prelaying females and chicks with more high-quality foods and facilitate forb establishment in burned areas [10].

The growing season was longer and flowering occurred sooner on burned than unburned plots [10,11]. Earlier postfire flowering of 2 perennials, Nevada biscuitroot and Modoc hawksbeard, may increase the availability of high-quality reproductive plant parts to greater sage-grouse during the early part of the growing season, when greater sage-grouse require additional nutrition for reproduction. By extending the period of potential photosynthesis and plant succulence, forage quality might remain higher for greater sage-grouse into the late summer dry season [10], although forage nutrition was not determined.

Increased abundance of ants after fire might benefit sage-grouse chicks, which commonly eat ants soon after they hatch [10].

Nesting habitat for greater sage-grouse might not have been reduced by the fire because the fire was patchy, and cover protection was developing along burn edges due to greater number of reproductive and vegetative shoots of Wyoming big sagebrush at burn edges. Also, cover of perennial grasses was slightly less on burned than unburned plots (5% vs. 9%) 1 year after the fires, and frequency and density of perennial grasses was similar between burned and unburned plots. Wyoming big sagebrush seedlings established in burned areas 1 year after the fires, particularly at burn edges. As shrub seedlings within burns and at burn edges mature and reproduce, they will provide greater sage-grouse nesting and hiding cover. With herbaceous cover along burn edges at least equal to unburned levels, and Wyoming big sagebrush cover greater along burn edges, burn edges in particular may become high-quality nesting habitat [10].

The changes observed at burn edges may be a result of soil and ash inputs. Immediately after the fires, the wind moved large quantities of soil and ash to downwind burn edges. Increased density of Wyoming big sagebrush vegetative and reproductive shoots, and large increases in cover of grasses and forbs observed along some edges may have resulted from soil and ash inputs, or from decreased competition for nutrients and water in the adjacent burned areas [10].

Quality of greater sage-grouse wintering habitat after fire is directly related to the amount of sagebrush remaining [2]. This prescribed fire left >50% (in an irregular mosaic pattern) of the treatment area with fully intact Wyoming big sagebrush cover (>25%). This cover, combined with Wyoming big sagebrush cover in unburned plots and adjacent areas, will likely provide adequate wintering habitat for greater sage-grouse [10], although greater sage-grouse winter habitat use was not determined.

High growing-season precipitation in 1998 might have accelerated postfire recovery of plant species in this study. Postfire plant production would likely be less during a drier year. In addition, because the prescribed fires were ignited near the end of the fire season and winds were light, fire severity and spread were likely lower they would be during a late summer wildfire. This might have resulted in relatively high postfire survival of perennial plants and seeds stored in soil [11].

Although longer-term effects were not examined on the study plots, on a nearby 13-year-old burn that had "slightly different" vegetation cover from the study plots, cheatgrass frequency was 82% and cover was 9% 13 years after the fire. Prefire cheatgrass frequency and cover were not provided. Annual and perennial forb and litter cover was similar between the 13-year-old burn and unburned plots, while sagebrush cover was less, suggesting postfire responses of the herbaceous understory are only short term, and postfire recovery of sagebrush is slow. As of 2007, prescribed fire is no longer used in sagebrush communities on this refuge in order to preserve existing sagebrush habitat for greater sage-grouse and to reduce spread of cheatgrass [8].

Appendix A: Frequency of herbaceous species on unburned and burned plots


Frequency (SE) of herbaceous species in unburned and burned plots in a Wyoming big sagebrush community at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, Oregon. Cells are blank where species were not identified to species level in 1997 [10]. N=native, Nn=nonnative [9]. Follow the links to FEIS Species Reviews.
Common name Scientific name
Unburned plots (%)
Burned plots (%)
1997
(prefire)
1998
(postfire year 1)
1997
(prefire)
1998
(postfire year 1)
Grasses
bluebunch wheatgrass (N) Pseudoroegneria spicata   0.5 (0.2)   0.5 (0.3)
squirreltail* (N) Elymus elymoides 48.0 (0.8) 42.9 (1.0) 44.2 (1.4) 24.7 (3.5)
cheatgrass* (Nn) Bromus tectorum 16.5 (4.5) 15.0 (2.8) 20.6 (6.3) 19.1 (7.0)
Idaho fescue (N) Festuca idahoensis 3.9 (0.6) 2.1 (0.5) 3.2 (1.0) 1.9 (1.0)
Indian ricegrass (N) Achnatherum hymenoides 0.3 (0.2) 0.2 (0.1) 0.7 (0.2) 0.6 (0.2)
Sandberg bluegrass (N) Poa secunda 55.3 (4.2) 44.3 (3.3) 39.8 (7.4) 33.0 (7.1)
thickspike wheatgrass* (N) Elymus lanceolatus 4.8 (2.2) 5.4 (1.6) 5.1 (2.3) 2.5 (0.9)
Thurber's needlegrass (N) Achnatherum thurberianum 2.4 (1.1) 1.4 (0.6) 2.6 (0.5) 2.4 (0.3)
     Species richness   8   8
Perennial forbs
arcane milkvetch (N) Astragalus obscurus   3.1 (0.9)   0.5 (0.2)
arrowleaf balsamroot (N) Balsamorhiza sagittata 0.1 (0.1) 0.3 (0.2) 0.1 (0.1) 0.2 (0.1)
bitterroot (N) Lewisia rediviva 0.4 (0.2) 1.1 (0.6) 0.2 (0.1) 1.1 (0.6)
Booth's evening primrose (N) Camissonia boothii
(Oenethera boothii)**
0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.2 (0.2)
broadsheath desertparsley (N) Lomatium vaginatum   0   0.1 (0.1)
buckwheat (N) Eriogonum spp. 9.6 (1.9) 8.6 (0.8) 4.4 (1.4) 0.6 (0.7)
buttercup (N, Nn) Ranunculus spp. 0.8 (0.4) 1.2 (0.8) 1.2 (0.6) 0.8 (0.3)
Canby's biscuitroot (N) Lomatium canbyi   2.6 (2.1)   0.3 (0.2)
clustered broomrape (N) Orobanche fasciculata 0.1 (0.1) 0 0 0
country Indian paintbrush (N) Castilleja flava var. rustica (Castilleja rustica)** 1.2 (0.5) 0.7 (0.2) 0.7 (0.1) 0.3 (0.3)
cushion buckwheat (N) Eriogonum ovalifolium   8.4 (0.4)   0.6 (0.2)
desertparsley* (N) Lomatium spp. 9.3 (3.3) 14.8 (2.6) 7.4 (1.6) 6.2 (2.5)
desert yellow fleabane (N) Erigeron linearis   1.5 (0.2)   0.2 (0.1)
Donnell's biscuitroot (N) Lomatium donnellii   3.7 (1.9)   0.4 (0.4)
Douglas' dustymaiden (N) Chaenactis douglasii 1.2 (1.0) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1)
dwarf yellow fleabane* (N) Erigeron chrysopsidis   12.0 (2.8)   4.0 (0.8)
fleabane (N, Nn) Erigeron spp. 15.4 (2.1) 13.6 (2.8) 7.0 (2.1) 4.2 (0.8)
hawksbeard (N, Nn) Crepis spp. 16.8 (3.0) 23.5 (6.1) 5.5 (0.8) 9.3 (1.8)
Holboell's rockcress (N) Arabis holboellii 0.8 (0.3) 1.2 (0.1) 1.6 (0.2) 0.3 (0.1)
lambstongue ragwort (N) Senecio integerrimus 0 0 0.1 (0.1) 0
largehead clover (N) Trifolium macrocephalum 0.6 (0.6) 0 0 0
lava aster (N) Ionactis alpina
(Aster scopulorum)**
1.1 (0.9) 0 0.2 (0.2) 0
Lemmon's onion (N) Allium lemmonii   1.8 (0.9)   1.9 (0.4)
longleaf phlox (N) Phlox longifolia   24.1 (3.9)   10.7 (2.0)
low pussytoes (N) Antennaria dimorpha 1.8 (0.5) 2.2 (0.6) 1.2 (0.3) 0.4 (0.1)
matted buckwheat (N) Eriogonum caespitosum   0.2 (0.1)   0
meadow deathcamas (N) Zigadenus venenosus
(Zygadenus venenosus)**
0.2 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0
milkvetch* (N, Nn) Astragalus spp. 10.7 (1.0) 9.6 (1.7) 5.8 (1.7) 6.5 (0.9)
Modoc hawksbeard (N) Crepis modocensis   22.3 (6.1)   8.9 (1.9)
musk phlox (N) Phlox hoodii subsp. muscoides
(Phlox muscoides)**
  0.4 (0.4)   0.2 (0.2)
narrowleaf mock goldenweed (N) Nestotus stenophyllus
(Stenotus stenophyllus)**
0.4 (0.4) 0.1 (0.1) 0 0
Nevada biscuitroot (N) Lomatium nevadense   4.9 (3.0)   4.9 (2.7)
pale agoseris (N) Agoseris glauca 11.0 (4.0) 0.5 (0.3) 4.7 (1.6) 0.2 (0.1)
penstemon (N) Penstemon spp. 0 0 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1)
phlox (N, Nn) Phlox spp. 24.6 (5.4) 24.5 (4.1) 16.1 (3.7) 10.9 (1.9)
prickly sandwort (N) Arenaria aculeata 0.5 (0.4) 0.5 (0.2) 0 0
sagebrush buttercup (N) Ranunculus glaberrimus   0.4 (0.2)   0
sagebrush false dandelion (N) Microseris troximoides 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.2 (0.2) 0.1 (0.1)
shaggy milkvetch (N) Astragalus malacus
(Astragalus malachus)**
  3.3 (1.0)   3.6 (1.2)
tapertip hawksbeard (N) Crepis acuminata   1.2 (0.1)   0.4 (0.3)
tapertip onion (N) Allium acuminatum   20.8 (3.1)   16.9 (4.0)
twolobe larkspur (N) Delphinium nuttallianum 2.4 (1.1) 3.7 (1.2) 2.9 (1.6) 8.6 (5.1)
wallflower phoenicaulis (N) Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides 0.1 (0.1) 0 0.3 (0.3) 0
Watson's desertparsley (N) Lomatium watsonii   3.6 (2.5)   0.5 (0.2)
wild onion* (N, Nn) Allium spp. 13.4 (1.3) 22.6 (3.0) 10.8 (1.2) 18.8 (3.9)
woolly fleabane (N) Erigeron lanatus   0.1 (0.1)   0
woollypod milkvetch (N) Astragalus purshii   3.2 (1.1)   2.4 (0.5)
yellow salsify (Nn) Tragopogon dubius 0 0 0 0
     Species richness   32   27
Annual forbs
annual polemonium (N) Polemonium micranthum   0.5 (0.4)   0.6 (0.2)
bulbous woodland-star (N) Lithophragma glabrum
(Lithophragma bulbifera)**
0.1 (0.1) 0 0 0
clasping pepperweed (Nn) Lepidium perfoliatum 0.5 (0.2) 0.6 (0.4) 1.8 (1.3) 0.2 (0.1)
Clearwater cryptantha (N) Cryptantha intermedia 3.7 (0.6) 14.2 (2.1) 6.8 (1.4) 21.3 (1.2)
common dogmustard (Nn) Erucastrum gallicum   0   0.2 (0.1)
curveseed butterwort (Nn) Ceratocephala testiculata
(Ranunculus testiculatus)
  0.8 (0.6)   0.8 (0.3)
cushion cryptantha (N) Cryptantha circumscissa 0 0.2 (0.2) 0 0.25 (0.1)
chaparral willowherb (N) Epilobium minutum 5.3 (1.8) 7.8 (2.4) 2.8 (1.5) 4.3 (0.3)
deceptive groundsmoke (N) Gayophytum decipiens 0.5 (0.4) 4.5 (1.9) 0.5 (0.3) 9.8 (1.4)
dwarf purple monkeyflower (N) Mimulus nanus 0 0.3 (0.2) 0 0.3 (0.1)
dwarf skullcap (N) Scutellaria nana 0.1 (0.1) 0.2 (0.2) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1)
false monkeyflower (N) Mimulus pilosus 0.3 (0.2) 0.9 (0.7) 0 2.0 (0.9)
Great Basin woollystar (N) Eriastrum sparsiflorum 0.9 (0.4) 3.3 (1.2) 1.6 (0.9) 4.3 (1.2)
goosefoot (N, Nn) Chenopodium spp. 0 0 0 0.4 (0.4)
littleseed false flax (Nn) Camelina microcarpa 0 0 0 0.1 (0.1)
longhorn plectritis (N) Plectritis macrocera 1.1 (0.9) 1.5 (1.0) 0.7 (0.6) 0.9 (0.4)
maiden blue-eyed Mary* (N) Collinsia parviflora 24.3 (8.4) 68.3 (10.8) 30.3 (5.2) 71.1 (11.0)
Menzies' fiddleneck (N) Amsinckia menziesii 0 0.2 (0.2) 0 0.1 (0.1)
mountain tansymustard (N) Descurainia incana
(Descurainia richardsonii)**
2.5 (0.5) 17.3 3.1 (0.8) 32.1 (1.2)
needleleaf navarretia (N) Navarretia intertexta 0 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1) 0.1 (0.1)
rosy gilia (N) Gilia sinuata 0.2 (0.2) 3.0 (1.2) 0.4 (0.3) 13.5 (3.6)
rough eyelashweed (N) Blepharipappus scaber 2.1 (1.8) 1.0 (0.9) 0 0.4 (0.4)
rusty lupine (N) Lupinus pusillus 3.1 (1.0) 6.2 (1.1) 3.3 (1.0) 6.3 (1.0)
slender phlox* (N) Microsteris gracilis
(Phlox gracilis)**
9.2 (3.8) 17.5 (5.7) 11.6 (4.0) 23.0 (4.1)
spring draba (Nn) Draba verna 0 0.1 (0.1) 0 0.3 (0.2)
stickseed (N, Nn) Lappula spp. 0 0 0.1 (0.1) 0
threadleaf phacelia (N) Phacelia linearis 1.3 (0.6) 2.5 (1.2) 0.4 (0.3) 5.1 (1.8)
whitedaisy tidytips (N) Layia glandulosa 0 0 0.1 (0.1) 0
whitestem blazingstar (N) Mentzelia albicaulis   1.6 (0.4)   3.2 (1.2)
wickerstem buckwheat (N) Eriogonum vimineum
(Eriogonum vimeminum)**
  1.3 (0.9)   1.1 (0.6)
yellow phacelia (N) Phacelia lutea   0.3 (0.2)   0.8 (0.4)
     Species richness   25   28
*Data for these species were tested for significance, but no significant differences were found at P=0.10. Data for other species were not tested for significance.
**Names in parentheses are those used by Wrobleski and Kaufmann [10,11].

Appendix B. Other plant and animal taxa mentioned in this Research Project Summary


Plant and animal taxa mentioned in this Research Project Summary in addition to those mentioned in Appendix A. N=native, Nn=nonnative plant species [9]. Follow the links to FEIS Species Reviews.
Forbs
nineleaf biscuitroot (N) Lomatium triternatum
Shrubs
basin big sagebrush (N) Artemisia tridentata subsp. tridentata
broom snakeweed (N) Gutierrezia sarothrae
low sagebrush (N) Artemisia arbuscula
sagebrush (N) Artemisia spp.
spiny hopsage (N) Grayia spinosa
(Atriplex spinosa)*
shortspine horsebrush (N) Tetradymia spinosa
Wyoming big sagebrush (N) Artemisia tridentata subsp. wyomingensis
Birds
greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus
Insects
ants Formicidae (Hymenoptera)
beetles Coleoptera
*Name in parentheses is that used by Wrobleski [10].

REFERENCES:


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7. Rogers, Glenn E. 1964. Sage grouse investigations in Colorado. Tech. Pub. No. 16. Denver, CO: Colorado Game, Fish and Parks Department, Game Research Division. 132 p. [27323]
8. Taylor, Andrew. 2016. [Personal communication with Janet Fryer]. 9 May. Regarding use of prescribed fire in Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge. Plush, OR: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge. Unpublished information on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; FEIS files. [90436]
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