Bootleg Burn

In this study, soil characteristics after a lightning-initiated fire were evaluated. Following the fire in July 1998, 25 experimental plots were established on the eastern edge of MacKenzie Flats at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Ten of these plots were located in a Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama)-dominated site, while 15 were established in another area dominated by Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama). All plots were oriented along a topographic gradient that ran in an east-west direction. At each of three topographic locations within each plot, soil samples were taken at two depths from an area covered by perennial grass as well as an area devoid of vegetation. Soil samples were collected in July 1998 and analyzed for moisture content and soil texture. Also basal and aerial cover of all plant species at the community level using vertical line point intercept method along transects within plots were evaluated. Sampling was conducted immediately after the fire during the last week of July 1998, and again in September and October of 2001.On top of that  basal cover of perennial grasses in systematically positioned quadrats (subsamples) within plots immediately after the fire during the last week of July 1998, and in September-October 2001 were also evaluated.