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Title: Site characteristics of intact shortgrass steppe in the southern Great Plains USA

Author: Ford, Paulette L.;

Date: 2011

Source: In: Feldman, Susana R.; Oliva, Gabriel E.; Sacido, Monica B., eds. IX International Rangeland Congress: Diverse Rangelands for a Sustainable Society; April 3-10, 2011; Rosario, Argentina. IRC2001 Congress. p. 174.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Steppe, a mid-latitude, semiarid grassland has a wide global distribution. It is estimated that in the United States less than 23 percent of true shortgrass steppe still exists in native vegetation (National Grasslands Management Review Team Report, 1995). The Kiowa National Grassland long-term, 18-year, experimental fire research site is one such area. Located in the southern Great Plains, the site still contains most of its native vegetation. The site has never been plowed, although it was grazed by livestock until 1990 (Ford and Johnson, 2006). Information about natural ecosystem processes and responses to disturbance in relatively intact ecosystems can be used to enhance remediation of disturbed lands (Pyke et al., 2003). This paper reviews site characteristics of the unburned treatment of the 18-year fire experiment from 1995-2004, during extreme drought. Though the mean annual precipitation (MAP) for the site was 356 mm, most actual total annual precipitation for the site over the ten year period was generally lower (Fig.1).

Keywords: drought, shortgrass steppe, soil organic matter, ground cover

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Ford, Paulette L. 2011. Site characteristics of intact shortgrass steppe in the southern Great Plains USA. In: Feldman, Susana R.; Oliva, Gabriel E.; Sacido, Monica B., eds. IX International Rangeland Congress: Diverse Rangelands for a Sustainable Society; April 3-10, 2011; Rosario, Argentina. IRC2001 Congress. p. 174.

 


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