Effects of rangeland burning
The current issue of the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management describes a 12-year study of a semiarid live oak savanna in Texas.
Historically, fires swept the savanna of the Edwards Plateau region of Texas about every six years.
This long-term fire study mimicked the historical cycle.
Between 1994 and 2006, summer and winter burns were conducted every six years.
The results of these burns and a controlled unburned area were compared and contrasted.
The study found that fire can reduce woody plant species without having a long-term negative effect on desired grasses.
While the burned areas showed positive results in their regrowth, the unburned control area of land rapidly transitioned from a grass-and-tree savanna into woody domination.
Full text of the article, "Long-Term Effects of Fire, Livestock Herbivory Removal, and Weather Variability in Texas Semiarid Savanna," Rangeland Ecology & Management, Vol. 65, No. 1, January 2012, is available at http://www.srmjournals.org/toc/rama/65/1.