Delaying sheep grazing after wildfire in sagebrush steppe may not affect vegetation recovery

  • Published source details Roselle L., Seedfeldt S.S. & Lauchbaugh K. (2010) Delaying sheep grazing after wildfire in sagebrush steppe may not affect vegetation recovery. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 19, 115-122.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce number of livestock

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation
  1. Reduce number of livestock

    A randomized, controlled study in 2001–2004 in a sagebrush-steppe habitat affected by wildfire in Idaho, USA (Roselle et al. 2010) found that areas that were not grazed did have higher shrub abundance than areas that were grazed, but there was mixed effect on grass abundance. Cover of the shrubs threetip sagebrush Artemesia tripartita and bitterbrush Purshia tridentata did not differ significantly between ungrazed (sagebrush: 1 plant/10 m2, bitterbrush: 0.3 plants/10 m2) and grazed areas (sagebrush: 2–4 plants/10 m2, bitterbrush: 0–0.6 plants/10 m2). Cover of bluebunch wheatgrass Pseudoroegneria spicata was higher in ungrazed (9%) than grazed areas (7%), but the abundance of drooping brome Bromus tectorum was lower in ungrazed (10 plants/10 m2) than grazed areas (12–60 plants/10 m2). In 2000 a fire burnt 474 ha of the site. Twenty four 2.4–3.3 ha paddocks were established in 2001. Twenty paddocks were grazed by sheep and four were not. Two 15 m x 1 m transects were established in each paddock and surveyed to estimate vegetation cover annually in 2001–2004.

    (Summarised by: Phil Martin)

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