Meeting name

Early Post-Fire Recovery on a Heavily Visited Mojave Desert Burn: Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas, Nevada

Meeting location

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

12-9-2008

Description

Wildfire has become widespread in southwestern USA deserts. In a record 2005 fire season in the Mojave Desert, for example, more than 385,000 hectares burned (Brooks and Matchett 2006). This burned area is approximately 3% of the entire Mojave Desert. Fueled in large part by exotic annual grasses, these fires burned desert ecosystems thought to have only burned infrequently historically. Burns now occupy significant portions of desert landscapes, posing prominent management challenges. Improving our understanding of plant recovery on desert burns is important for evaluating future fire hazard, whether natural revegetation will meet management objectives, and for planning active revegetation if this becomes a management goal. Desert burns may afford an opportunity for intervention in the grass-fire cycle immediately following a burn if exotic grass competition is temporarily reduced while available nutrients liberated by the fire increase. However, post-fire recovery of plant communities is not a well understood process in desert ecosystems.

Keywords

Desert – Ecology; Fire ecology; Invasive plants; Revegetation; United States – Mojave Desert; Wildfires

Disciplines

Desert Ecology | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Weed Science