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Title: Wildfire, Exotic Vegetation, and Breeding Bird Habitat in the Rio Grande Bosque

Author: Smith, D. Max; Kelly, Jeff F.; Finch, Deborah M.;

Date: 2006

Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 230-237

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Wildfires in the Middle Rio Grande bosque have likely increased in frequency due to absence of the natural flood regime and current drought conditions. Native cottonwoods (Populus spp.) do not tolerate or recover from wildfire as well as exotic vegetation, particularly salt cedar, also known as tamarisk (Tamarix spp.). There is concern that this change in the primary disturbance process from flood to fire will shift vegetative succession away from structurally diverse mesic native communities to structurally simple xeric exotic shrub-lands, which provide inferior habitat for ripariandependent animals. In 2003, we initiated a study to evaluate effects of wildfire on quality of riparian habitat for birds breeding in the Middle Rio Grande bosque. Our research focusing on the effects of wildfire on exotic and native woody plants, arthropods and breeding birds will provide managers with information about post-wildfire dynamics of riparian vegetation and breeding bird use.

Keywords: monitoring, assessment, sustainability, Western Hemisphere, sustainable management, ecosystem resources, wildfire, Middle Rio Grande bosque, cottonwoods, Populus spp., tamarisk, Tamarix spp.

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Smith, D. Max; Kelly, Jeff F.; Finch, Deborah M. 2006. Wildfire, Exotic Vegetation, and Breeding Bird Habitat in the Rio Grande Bosque. In: Aguirre-Bravo, C.; Pellicane, Patrick J.; Burns, Denver P.; and Draggan, Sidney, Eds. 2006. Monitoring Science and Technology Symposium: Unifying Knowledge for Sustainability in the Western Hemisphere Proceedings RMRS-P-42CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 230-237

 


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