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 following.

Action Category

Use fences to exclude large herbivores

Action Link
Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

Use wire fencing to exclude large native herbivores

Action Link
Forest Conservation
  1. Use fences to exclude large herbivores

    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)

  2. Use wire fencing to exclude large native herbivores

    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.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 20

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered speciesVincet Wildlife Trust