Fire behavior and fire effects on tallgrass prairie
Document Type: Whole Book
Author(s): T. G. Bidwell
Publication Year: 1988

Cataloging Information

  • Ambrosia psilostachya
  • Andropogon gerardii
  • backfires
  • Bromus tectorum
  • Carex
  • Cyperus
  • fire exclusion
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • forbs
  • fuel loading
  • fuel moisture
  • grasses
  • grasslands
  • grasslike plants
  • headfires
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • Juncus
  • livestock
  • moisture
  • Oklahoma
  • Panicum virgatum
  • perennial plants
  • prairies
  • rate of spread
  • Schizachyrium scoparium
  • season of fire
  • site treatments
  • Sorghastrum nutans
  • tallgrass prairies
  • vegetation surveys
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 26, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 39867
Tall Timbers Record Number: 14595
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


From the text...'Scope and Method of Study: The response of tallgrass prairie vegetation to headfires and backfires was compared in 1986 and 1987 on a moderately stocked (2.4 AUM ha-1) range 15 km southwest of Stillwater, Oklahoma. Behavior of headfires and backfires was measured using Byram's fireline intensity model and time-temperature relationships. Regression models of fire behavior were developed using environmental parameters as independent variables. Regression models of herbaceous standing crop were developed using environment and fire behavior parameters as independent variables. Findings and Conclusions: Standing crop of tallgrasses in August was 21% (400 kg ha-1) greater on headfired plots than backfired plots. Forb standing crop in August was 26% (98 kg ha-1) greater on backfired plots than headfired plots. Fireline intensity was 10 times greater for headfires than backfires, but there was less difference between headfires and backfires in most time-temperature relationships. Fire type, fuel continuity, fuel loading, and fuel moisture were good predictors of fire behavior. Fire type and fuel moisture were the pre-fire measurement variables most related to standing crop in tallgrass prairie after late spring burning. Time-temperature parameters explained more of the variation of standing crop response to fire than fireline intensity or rate of spread. The area headfired should be maximized within the constraints of the burn prescription on tallgrass prairie managed for livestock. Backfiring in late spring can be used to increase production of forbs for wildlife habitat improvement.'

Bidwell, T. G. 1988. Fire behavior and fire effects on tallgrass prairie. Stillwater, OK, Oklahoma State University.