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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Recovery of Sagebrush-Grass Vegetation Following Wildfire

Published source details

West N.E. & Hassan M.A. (1985) Recovery of Sagebrush-Grass Vegetation Following Wildfire. Journal of Range Management, 38, 131-134


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 controlled, before-and-after trial in 1981–1983 in a sagebrush scrub habitat that had been burnt in a wildfire in Utah, USA (West & Hassan 1985) found that allowing shrubland to recover without active restoration did not increase cover of shrub, or forb species, but did increase cover of two of eight grass species. After two years of recovery, the cover of five of five shrubs (0–1%) was not significantly different than immediately after burning (0%), and was lower than in unburned areas for one of five shrubs (3%). The same pattern was true for seven of seven forb species (after recovery: 0%, immediately after fire: 0%). Cover of two of eight grass species was higher after two years of recovery (5–50%) than immediately after fire (0%). Wildfire occurred in July 1981. Cover of plants was assessed visually in four 1000 m2 plots every year in 1981–1983.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)