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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Vegetation change over 30 years following prescribed burning of sagebrush-grass range on the Upper Snake River Plains, Idaho, USA

Published source details

Harniss R.O. & Murray R.B. (1973) 30 years of vegetal change following burning of sagebrush-grass range. Journal of Range Management, 26, 322-325


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Allow shrubland to regenerate without active management Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1936–1966 in a sagebrush scrub shrubland affected by fire in Idaho, USA (Harniss & Murray 1973) found that allowing shrubland to recover from disturbance without any active restoration increased biomass of big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata and decreased grass biomass after 30 years. After 30 years of recovery, biomass of big sagebrush was higher (325 kg/ha) than in the same areas immediately after fire had occurred (2 kg/ha). However, the areas’ grass biomass did not differ significantly after 30 years of recovery (164 kg/ha) from grass biomass in the same areas immediately following fire (158 kg/ha). In 1936 the shrublands were burned. Following this vegetation cover was assessed in four hundred 9.3 m2 quadrats in 1936, 1937, 1939, 1948, and 1966.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)