2003 Prescribed Burn Effect on Chihuahuan Desert Grasses and Shrubs at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico: Grass Recovery Study (2003-2012)



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife's plan to apply a prescribed burn to a large portion of Mckenzie Flats was deemed an opportunity to study the effects of fire on vegetation at the boundary between shrubland and grassland. This study actually was undertaken on an area that had prescribed fire applied to 8 of 16 (300 m x 300 m) plots 10 years before in 1993. This previous study had also examined the effects of fencing to exclude the indigenous prong-horn antelope. In the 2003 study the prescribed fire was applied to the northeastern half of the 16 plots while the southwestern plots were intentionally protected. Sampling prior to the prescribed burn included quantification of cover of grass species in quadrats within all of the 16 plots. Measurements were made using "niner" quadrat frames that are 30 cm x 30 cm frames that are divided into 9 1-decimeter squares. Counts of grass species were made just prior to the June 2003 burn. Following the prescribed burn, quadrats were remeasured in the fall of 2003 to quantify mortality of grass species. These measurements were taken through the fall of 2012

Data set ID: 


Date Range: 

Monday, June 9, 2003 to Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Publication Date: 

Monday, February 29, 2016