Fire effects on vegetation of a northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland

TitleFire effects on vegetation of a northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsCornelius JMalcolm
Number of Pages170
Date Published1988
UniversityNew Mexico State University
CityLas Cruces, New Mexico
Thesis TypePh.D. Dissertationpp
Accession NumberJRN00080
Call Number00037
KeywordsBouteloua,fire, dissertation, dissertations, fire,grassland, grassland,fire, theses, thesis
AbstractIt has been hypthesized that fire was important in maintenance of southwestern US grasslands, and that decreased fire frequency and intensity caused by lower fuel levels from livestock grazing may be one cause of desertification of these desert grasslands. This research examines fire effects in a black gramma (Bouteloua eriopoda) grassland, and assesses the potential historical role that fire may have had in these grasslands.... The results suggest that fire was not important in maintenance of black gramma Chihuahuan Desert grasslands. Instead a widespread, intense fire would likely have been a severe disturbance that could have caused decreased abundance of grasses and increased abundance of shrubs, thus possibly enhancing desertification rather than preventing it.