Revegetating Burned Arid Lands Project
Wildfires are occurring at greater frequency on southwestern arid lands, such as the Mojave Desert in Southern Nevada. The scars of the post-burn landscape often remain visible as efforts to reestablish native vegetation take years or decades, while non-native grasses continue to grow and serve as fuel for the next lightning- or human-sparked wildfire. The objective of this research is to identify which native species can be reliably established and most effectively compete with exotic annual grasses in post-fire environments.
The objective is measureable by performing a suite of studies that quantify competitive interactions between two exotic annual grasses (Bromus rubens [red brome] and Schismus sp. [Mediterranean grass]) and nine native species along a functional trait gradient, measure the outplanting and seeding establishment success of these native species, and compare the relative abilities of the native species to depress dominance of exotic grasses responsible for heavy fuel loads. By the end of the project, we expect to provide practitioners with suggestions for candidate native species for revegetation that have the greatest chances for successfully establishing and competing with exotic grasses.