Effects of fire and grazing driven heterogeneity on N cycling in tallgrass prairie
Document Type: Thesis
Author(s): R.A. Hunter Anderson
Publication Year: 2005

Cataloging Information

  • fire
  • fire-grazing interaction
  • GPE - Great Plains Fire Science Exchange
  • grassland
  • grasslands
  • grazing
  • Great Plains
  • net nitrogen mineralization
  • nitrogen availability
  • patch burn grazing
  • pyric herbivory
  • tallgrass prairie
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 12, 2015
FRAMES Record Number: 17928


Current management objectives on privately owned rangelands in North American tallgrass prairie are largely centered around livestock production. Often a goal of ranchers on these rangelands is to maintain dominant forage species while reducing variability in plant species composition in an attempt to optimize livestock production. Management practices including multiple water sources, herbicide application, annual prescribed fire, brush control, and rotational grazing systems are used to achieve this goal through uniform livestock distribution. Eventually, these management practices can lead to an homogeneous landscape that is moderately disturbed and where habitat is lacking for many animal species that may require undisturbed habitat as well as those that may require severely disturbed habitat. Recent studies have reported that disturbance-driven heterogeneity is critical to ecosystem function and many declining wildlife populations (Christensen 1997; Ostfeld et al. 1997; Wiens 1997). Hence, the goal of livestock production seems mutually exclusive to the goal of conservation under the current paradigm. Land management strategies are, therefore, needed that integrate profitable livestock production with disturbance-driven heterogeneity to satisfy both objectives.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (903 KB; pdf)
Anderson, R. A. Hunter. 2005. Effects of fire and grazing driven heterogeneity on N cycling in tallgrass prairie. Master of Science. Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University. 80 p.