Great Basin Naturalist


Twenty-one areas in pinyon (Pinus monophylla)-juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodlands burned by wildfire from approximately 1 to 60 years prior to sampling and adjacent unburned mature woodland stands were studied in Nevada and California to determine successional patterns and individual species responses to burning and to changing plant communities through time. One year after burning, all late successional woodland species were present in postburn plant communities except tree species. Increases in both cover and occurrence of annual and perennial forbs resulted in their dominance on early successional sites. Shrubs and annual grasses dominated midsuccessional sites, subsequently giving way to tree, shrub, and perennial grass dominance in late succession. North and east slopes generally supported high cover and occurrence of shrubs, perennial grasses, and perennial forbs, and south and west slopes generally supported high cover and occurrence of annual forbs and annual grasses. The ability to group species according to preferential occurrence on various aspects and successional stages can be used to predict plant community composition in time and space in the pinyon-juniper woodlands.