Recovery of the Plant Community After Grazing vs. Fire

Subject: Environment
Pages: 1
Words: 264
Reading time:
< 1 min

The effects of wildfires on the coastal sage scrub differ from other sources of disturbances such as grazing. First, fire disturbances on habitat are usually non-selective for particular plants implying that an entire area that is covered with plants may be scorched. In addition, fire disturbances get rid of both the living and non-living organisms, which may pose a huge challenge for actual recovery from disturbances. Third, fire disturbances are typically high levels of heat production and are able to recycle inorganic nutrients. The recycled nutrients are considerably even across all the tropics, causing patches and mosaic landscapes within a specific habitat. The fire disturbances are also occasional and occur during summer and dry seasons. Finally, disturbances from fire reduce the viability of seeds, making them unable to recover effectively from the disruptions.

Grazing, on the other hand, selects some specific species of plants and only removes the living plants’ tissues. During instances of grazing, there is normally no heat is produced, ensuring that some seeds remain viable during the recovery periods. Grazing disturbances recycle both inorganic and organic nutrients. Grazing also occurs during all seasons and causes patchiness, although not to the magnitude of fires. It is therefore imperative to note that the two types of habitat disturbances have different characteristics, and so is the period of recovery. While persistent grazing may increase the recovery period, fires are seasonal and end during cold and wet seasons.