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 the 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 fuel load (ie. the standing biomass of all grasses and forbs in the area to be burned). These measurements were made using Daubenmire quadrat frames that are 5 cm x 20 cm and delineate a 0.1 square meter area. Four samples were taken adjacent to the six 3 m x 4 m quadrats in each of the eight plots that were to be burned. Quadrat frames were laid down over the vegetation and all vegetation rooted within the frame was clipped at ground level. This material was bagged, oven-dried and weighed. Following the prescribed burn, re-measurements were made in the fall of 2004 and continue to be measured every fall when vegetation has reached its annual peak biomass.
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
2003-06-10 - 2009-11-11
Location: McKenzie Flats is located within the northeastern section of the Sevilleta NWR, encompassing an area from Black Butte south to Palo Duro Canyon and east to the Los Pinos.Landform: McKenzie Flats is a broad, nearly flat grassland plain between the Los Pinos Mountains and the breaks on the east side of the Rio Grande., Geology: Deep (20,000 ft) alluvial and aeolian deposits., Soils: Turney Series: fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Calciorthids. Berino Series: fine-loamy, mixed, thermic Typic Haplargids., Hydrology: Surface water only during rain events, no arroyos. Run-on plain for Los Pinos Mountains., Vegetation: The terrain is generally a mixed-species desert grassland, dominated by black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), blue grama (B. gracilis), sand muhly (Muhlenbergia arenicola), various drop seeds and sacatons (Sporobolus spp.), purple three-awn (Aristida purpurea), and burrow grass (Scleropogon brevifolia). Shrubs are common in the area around Five Points, including creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) and snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae)., Climate: Long-term mean annual precipitation is 243 mm, about 60% of which occurs during the summer. Long-term mean monthly temperatures for January and July are 1.5 degrees C and 25.1 degrees C, respectively., History: McKenzie Flats encompasses an area of approximately 50 square miles and was one of the primary livestock grazing areas within what is now the Sevilleta NWR. Cattle have been excluded from the site since 1974-76. The ranch headquarters buildings and corrals were located at the junction of Legs C and D of the coyote survey. Siteid: 25
Gosz, James; Muldavin, Esteban (2011): 2003 Prescribed Burn Effect on Chihuahuan Desert Grasses and Shrubs at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico: Fuel Load Study (2003- ). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/87e9c6207a9c333af88dfb3192423cf0