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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Chaparral shrub recovery after fuel reduction: a comparison of prescribed fire and mastication techniques

Published source details

Potts J.B., Marino E. & Stephens S.L. (2010) Chaparral shrub recovery after fuel reduction: a comparison of prescribed fire and mastication techniques. Plant Ecology, 210, 303-315


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

Use fences to exclude large herbivores Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A controlled study in 2001–2006 in chaparral shrubland that had been cut to reduce wildfires in California, USA (Potts et al. 2010) found that using fences to exclude deer from shrubland increased the height of shrubs, but not shrub cover after three years. In plots that were fenced to exclude deer, shrubs were taller in one of two years (67 cm) than in plots that were not fenced (55 cm). However, shrub cover in plots that were fenced was not significantly different to that in plots that were not fenced (data not presented). Fuel reduction treatments to reduce wildfire risk were carried out in all plots in 2001–2003. In 2003 mesh fences 1.5 m tall were built around five 2.5 m2 quadrats and five quadrats were left unfenced. The height and cover of vegetation in all quadrats was assessed by eye in 2005 and 2006.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Use wire fencing to exclude large native herbivores Forest Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2001-2006 in Mediterranean-type shrubland in California, USA (Potts, Marino & Stephens 2010) found that excluding deer increased shrub height. Shrub height was higher in deer exclusion (68 cm) than in unfenced plots (55 cm). Five unfenced control and five deer exclusion (1.5 m fence constructed in 2001-2003) plots (2.5 m2) were replicated in twenty areas (2 ha). Data were collected three years after treatment.