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Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Devan A. McGranahan; Gina M. Raicovich; W. Nathan Wilson; C. Kenneth Smith
Publication Date: 2013

Heterogeneity created through patchy disturbance is an important component of grassland conservation, but little research has focused on patch burn-grazing in grassland of the eastern United States. To test the viability of patch burn-grazing in a Tall Fescue-invaded old-field grassland on the Cumberland Plateau, we conducted a prescribed patch burn, stocked cattle, and measured vegetation structure and plant functional group composition. We found that patch burn-grazing creates spatial heterogeneity (patch contrast) for grass height, litter cover, bare ground, and canopy cover of native and exotic grasses. These results suggest that patch burn-grazing is a viable tool for heterogeneity-based grassland management in the region.

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Citation: McGranahan, Devan Allen; Raicovich, Gina M.; Wilson, W. Nathan; Smith, C. Kenneth. 2013. Preliminary evidence that patch burn-grazing creates spatially heterogeneous habitat structure in old-field grassland. Southeastern Naturalist 12(3):655-660.

Cataloging Information

  • fire
  • fire-grazing interaction
  • grassland
  • grazing
  • habitat
  • heterogeneity
  • patch burn grazing
  • Tennessee
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Record Maintained By: FRAMES Staff (
FRAMES Record Number: 17998