In the Nebraska Sandhills, one of the largest contiguous grassland ecoregions remaining in North America, sandy textured soils are stabilized by fine root biomass from predominantly warm-season grasses. Concerns over destabilization have led to management that aims to avoid an undesirable state change toward mobile sand dunes. In 2012, the Sandhills experienced extreme drought conditions that coincided with the worst wildfire year on state record. According to state-and-transition models and ecosystem managers, the combination of wildfire and drought conditions should cause a state transition due to a lack of recovery of grassland vegetation and a loss of sand dune stability. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a time-since-fire study to track biomass recovery of Sandhills grassland vegetation following a wildfire on The Nature Conservancy's Niobrara Valley Preserve in burned and unburned areas. Two yr following the wildfire, aboveground herbaceous biomass in burned areas had recovered to levels that did not differ from unburned areas, maintaining the stability of the sand dunes. This provides evidence that counters current land management frameworks that portray Sandhills grassland as highly vulnerable to destabilization when wildfires occur during severe drought conditions.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.