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Title: Characteristics and behavior of a cool-season prescribed fire in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands

Author: Koestner, Karen A.; Neary, Daniel G.; Gottfired, Gerald J.; Morales, Ruben

Date: 2008

Source: In: Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest. 38: 41-46.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Oak-savannas and woodlands comprise over 80,000 km2 (31,000 mi2) in the mountains and high valleys of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico (Figure 1). Fire, which was once the most important natural disturbance in this system, has been excluded due to over-grazing and fire suppression practices. This has resulted in ecosystem changes and fuel accumulations. Prescribed fire is one management technique to restore natural processes within southwestern oak-savannas by reducing woody species density, increasing herbaceous plant production, and creating vegetative mosaics on the landscape. Seasonality of burn treatments and their effects on physical and ecological processes need to be determined prior to broad management application. The Cascabel Watershed Study is a collaborative interdisciplinary study to determine the effects of cool-season and warm-season prescribed burning on a southwestern oak-savanna ecosystem. Twelve small watersheds in the Peloncillo Mountains of southwestern New Mexico have been monitored for seven years to provide hydrologic data prior to prescribed burning treatment application (Figure 2). These watersheds are grouped in four replicated blocks, each consisting of a cool-season treatment, a warm-season treatment and a control watershed. This paper will discuss the characteristics and behavior of the cool-season burn treatment, summarizing burn intensity and severity estimates.

Keywords: prescribed fire, oak savannas, Southwestern Borderlands, Cascabel Watershed Study, Peloncillo Mountains, watersheds

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Koestner, Karen A.; Neary, Daniel G.; Gottfired, Gerald J.; Morales, Ruben 2008. Characteristics and behavior of a cool-season prescribed fire in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands. In: Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest. 38: 41-46.

 


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