Do post-fire fuel treatments and annual grasses interact to affect fire regimes in the Great Basin?

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To assess the effects of aerial and drill seeding on plant community trajectories, fuel composition, and fire regimes, this study collected geospatial datasets spanning 209,000 ha of sagebrush steppe on BLM land in southern Idaho. In the field, 68 sites were sampled for fuel and plant community composition in 2014 and 2015 across areas that had burned 1-6 times and had no, aerial, drill, or aerial + drill seeding. The study found that 1) fire and rehabilitation shaped plant communities, 2) drill seeding after multiple fires in dry, low elevation sites prevented conversion to cheatgrass-dominated systems, 3) drill seeded sites had fewer fires and increased in fire frequency more slowly than aerial seeded sites, 4) the on-the-ground conditions that led to the decision to aerially seeding after a fire led to more frequent and numerous fires.

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