Individual study: Based on nitrogen dynamics, 5 to 8 years represent appropriate burning intervals for tobosagrass Hilaria mutica communities, Spade Ranch, Texas, USA
Sharrow S.H. & Wright H.A. (1977) Proper burning intervals for tobosagrass in west Texas based on nitrogen dynamics. Journal of Range Management, 30, 343-346
Fire benefits tobosagrass Hilaria mutica- honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa grassland communities by reducing mesquite dominance and burning off dead material which encourages fresh growth. The time required for re-establishment of pre-fire nitrogen levels in tobosagrass communities in the Rolling Plains of west Texas (southwest USA) was studied on five different ages of burns in 1973-74 in order to determine appropriate burn management intervals.
On Spade Ranch (near Colorado City), two replications of five different aged burns (time elapsed after burns one to five growing seasons) on convex and concave topographic sites were sampled for nitrogen content in July1973 and July1974. Nitrogen content in the burn plots was determined for: 1) current growth; 2) past years’ standing growth; 3) litter; 4) coarse roots; and 5) soil plus fine roots.
Standing old growth-nitogen returned to pre-burn levels by the end of the third growing season.