Understory Plant Community Responses to Fuel-Reduction Treatments and Seeding in an Upland Piñon-Juniper Woodland☆

  title={Understory Plant Community Responses to Fuel-Reduction Treatments and Seeding in an Upland Pi{\~n}on-Juniper Woodland☆},
  author={Caroline A. Havrilla and Akasha M. Faist and Nichole N. Barger},
  journal={Rangeland Ecology and Management},
  pages={609 - 620}
ABSTRACT Woody plant expansion and infilling into nonwooded rangeland ecosystems have been observed worldwide. Such expansion may lead to declines in herbaceous understory plant communities and increased fuel loads in rangelands. Under the US National Fire Plan, fuel-reduction treatments have been implemented over vast expanses of western forest types to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and restore historical ecosystem structure, function, and diversity. The benefits of fuel-reduction… Expand
Long-term vegetation responses to pinyon-juniper woodland reduction treatments in Nevada, USA.
Tree thinning and removal in tree dominated woodlands can increase shrub and perennial grass cover and reduce litter and canopy gaps, especially in conjunction with seeding, but that tree recolonization over the long-term is inevitable. Expand
Understory Vegetation Change Following Woodland Reduction Varies by Plant Community Type and Seeding Status: A Region-Wide Assessment of Ecological Benefits and Risks
These results identified specific situations where broad-scale efforts to reverse woodland encroachment substantially met short-term management goals of restoring valuable ecosystem services and where P–J reduction disposed certain plant community types to ecological risks, such as increasing the probability of native species displacement and stimulating an annual grass-fire cycle. Expand
Pretreatment Tree Dominance and Conifer Removal Treatments Affect Plant Succession in Sagebrush Communities☆,☆☆
To retain the shrub, especially sagebrush, components on a site and increase ecosystem resilience and resistance through increases in tall grasses, this work recommends treating at low to mid TDI using mechanical methods, such as cutting or mastication. Expand
Consequences of Piñon-Juniper Woodland Fuel Reduction: Prescribed Fire Increases Soil Erosion While Mastication Does Not
Fire suppression has increased fuel load and the risk of catastrophic wildfire in forest and woodland ecosystems across the Western United States. In an effort to reduce fuel load and restoreExpand
Drought Alters the Understory of Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands Indirectly through Tree Dieback★
ABSTRACT Severe drought and insect outbreaks have caused widespread mortality and dieback of trees in semiarid woodlands. Despite the extent and severity of these dieback events, little is knownExpand
Post-harvest slash burning in coniferous forests in North America: A review of ecological impacts
Abstract Increasing drought and changing temperatures drive researchers to seek more efficient and effective means to aid management of coniferous forests across the western United States. ThinningExpand
Slash Pile Burn Scar Restoration: Tradeoffs between Abundance of Non-Native and Native Species
The accumulation of live and dead trees and other vegetation in forests across the western United States is producing larger and more severe wildfires. To decrease wildfire severity and increaseExpand
Effectiveness of prescribed fire to re-establish sagebrush steppe vegetation and ecohydrologic function on woodland-encroached sagebrush rangelands, Great Basin, USA: Part I: Vegetation, hydrology, and erosion responses
Abstract Pinyon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodland encroachment has imperiled a broad ecological domain of the sagebrush steppe (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem in the Great Basin Region,Expand
Resilience and resistance in sagebrush ecosystems are associated with seasonal soil temperature and water availability
Invasion and dominance of exotic grasses and increased fire frequency threaten native ecosystems worldwide. In the Great Basin region of the western United States, woody and herbaceous fuelExpand
Restoration of slash pile burn scars to prevent establishment and propagation of non-native plants
Logging and burning of the resultant woody debris is a management tool to reduce fire risk. Burning of the debris as piles affects the underlying soil biota and soil physical and (or) chemicalExpand


Limits to Understory Plant Restoration Following Fuel-Reduction Treatments in a Piñon–Juniper Woodland
If the primary management goal is to enhance understory cover while promoting native species abundance, this study suggests that mastication may be the most effective treatment strategy in these upland piñon–juniper woodlands. Expand
Understory plant community responses to hazardous fuels reduction treatments in pinyon-juniper woodlands of Arizona, USA
Abstract Although hazardous fuels reduction projects are being implemented widely in dry forests of the western United States, information concerning ecological responses of pinyon-juniper woodlandsExpand
Effects of fuels reductions on plant communities and soils in a Piñon-juniper woodland.
Over the past decade, a variety of fuels reduction strategies have been implemented across western US forests to lower the risk of high severity fires. In two separate studies, we evaluated theExpand
Long‐term effects of burning slash on plant communities and arbuscular mycorrhizae in a semi‐arid woodland
Burning slash piles as a management tool in pinyon‐juniper woodlands can result in plant communities that are persistently dominated by exotic species, suggesting that management approaches that utilize fuel wood harvest alone or that incorporate seeding of native plants may achieve the desired results. Expand
Above- and belowground responses to tree thinning depend on the treatment of tree debris
Mechanical mastication is increasingly prescribed for wildfire mitigation, yet little is known about the ecological impacts of this fuels treatment. Mastication shreds trees into woodchips as anExpand
Seasonal burning of juniper woodlands and spatial recovery of herbaceous vegetation.
Abstract Decreased fire activity has been recognized as a main cause of expansion and infilling of North American woodlands. Pinon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus) woodlands in the western United StatesExpand
Restoring grassland savannas from degraded pinyon-juniper woodlands: effects of mechanical overstory reduction and slash treatment alternatives.
Evaluating the effectiveness of mechanical overstory reduction and three slash treatment alternatives followed by prescribed fire as techniques for restoring grassland savannas from degraded woodlands found that scattering slash across the site to serve as a mulch appears most beneficial to improving plant species diversity and conserving site resources. Expand
Effects of Slash on Herbaceous Communities in Pinyon–Juniper Woodlands of Northern Arizona
Addition of woody materials appeared to have general effectiveness at improving the ecological function of soils and promoting understory establishment and thus may be considered a desirable treatment for improving degraded conditions. Expand
Long-term effects of chaining treatments on vegetation structure in piñon-juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau.
Abstract Over the last half-century a range of methods have been utilized to reduce trees and shrubs in order to reduce wildfire risk and promote herbaceous vegetation to support livestock andExpand
Understory dynamics in cut and uncut western juniper woodlands
Early plant dynamics on this site supports the multiple entrance point model of succession as perennial grasses and bluegrass made up the majority of total herbaceous biomass and cover. Expand