Effects of Fire Seasonality on Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2007-2016)



Native vegetation is the key resource upon which rangelands are built, and restoring rangeland ecosystems are one of the most critical challenges facing rangeland managers today. This experimental fire research project, in collaboration with the USFWS and the Sevilleta LTER, is intended to provide FWS and other land managers of southwestern grasslands and rangelands with information about vegetation recovery following fire under different seasonal conditions and burning treatments. This experimental research will enable the FWS to more effectively set project objectives for prescribed burning on the Sevilleta NWR to benefit not only wildlife habitat, but to better align the timing and intensity of fire to benefit the reestablishment of the dominant native grama grasses Bouteloua eriopoda and B. gracilis. Since its creation in 1973, management has been devoted to restoring the Sevilleta NWR to the natural conditions that might have been seen around the turn of the century. The Sevilleta NWR is an ideal place for research because climatic conditions, plant species composition and net primary production following wildfire have been well documented by the Sevilleta LTER. Additional experimental research is needed, however, to better inform managers about the timing and use of fire as an ecosystem restoration and management tool. Data collection and analysis will be continued by the Sevilleta LTER beyond the requested funding period.

Data set ID: 


Date Range: 

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 to Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Publication Date: 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016



Additional Project roles: 


Data Manager


Field Crew


Field Crew


Lab Crew