Fire and grazing effects on wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Lance T. Vermeire; David B. Wester; Robert B. Mitchell; Samuel D. Fuhlendorf
Publication Year: 2005

Cataloging Information

  • Ambrosia psilostachya
  • Andropogon hallii
  • Artemisia filifolia
  • Bouteloua curtipendula
  • Bouteloua gracilis
  • burning intervals
  • cover
  • distribution
  • Eragrostis trichodes
  • erosion
  • evapotranspiration
  • fire
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • grassland
  • grazing
  • Great Plains
  • Juniperus virginiana
  • livestock
  • mosaic
  • nutrient cycling
  • Oklahoma
  • patch burn grazing
  • plant growth
  • post-fire recovery
  • prairie
  • Prosopis glandulosa
  • Prunus angustifolia
  • Quercus havardii
  • range management
  • rangelands
  • Rhus aromatica
  • sampling
  • sand sagebrush
  • Schizachyrium scoparium
  • season of fire
  • sedimentation
  • soil management
  • soil moisture
  • soil temperature
  • soil water content
  • soils
  • statistical analysis
  • temperature
  • water
  • water repellent soils
  • wildfires
  • wind
  • wind erosion
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 18058
Tall Timbers Record Number: 18847
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Selective grazing of burned patches can be intense if animal distribution is not controlled and may compound the independent effects of fire and grazing on soil characteristics. Our objectives were to quantify the effects of patch burning and grazing on wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature in sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia Torr.) mixed prairie. We selected 24, 4-ha plots near Woodward, OK. Four plots were burned during autumn (mid-November) and four during spring (mid-April), and four served as nonburned controls for each of two years. Cattle were given unrestricted access (April-September) to burned patches (<2% of pastures) and utilization was about 78%. Wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature were measured monthly. Wind erosion varied by burn, year, and sampling height. Wind erosion was about 2 to 48 times greater on autumn-burned plots than nonburned plots during the dormant period (December-April). Growing-season (April-August) erosion was greatest during spring. Erosion of spring-burned sites was double that of nonburned sites both years. Growing-season erosion from autumn-burned sites was similar to nonburned sites except for one year with a dry April-May. Soil water content was unaffected by patch burn treatments. Soils of burned plots were 1 to 3°C warmer than those of nonburned plots, based on mid-day measurements. Lower water holding and deep percolation capacity of sandy soils probably moderated effects on soil water content and soil temperature. Despite poor growing conditions following fire and heavy selective grazing of burned patches, no blowouts or drifts were observed.

Online Link(s):
Vermeire, L. T., D. B. Wester, R. B. Mitchell, and S. D. Fuhlendorf. 2005. Fire and grazing effects on wind erosion, soil water content, and soil temperature. Journal of Environmental Quality 34(5):1559-1565.