Much of our fire ecology research has focused on restoration of ecosystems in South Texas that have been impacted by invasive, non-native plant species. We have initiated a long-term research project on effects of season of burning and fire return intervals in Old World bluestem-dominated rangelands. Our goal with that project is to determine a season and fire return interval that would best control Old World bluestems without harming native perennial grasses.
In addition to Old World bluestem research, we have also studied fire effects on rare and endangered species. We completed a project on the endangered slender rush-pea which indicated that summer burning was primarily beneficial and crucial to the survival of slender rush-pea. We have ongoing studies on cacti in the Echinocereus genus.
We are also researching season of burn effects on coastal cordgrass, or sacahuista. Our goal is to determine season of burning impacts on cordgrass production and community dynamics. We are burning large pastures during either summer or winter, and we’re studying the response of the plants and changes in cattle distribution.