Within the National Park Service (NPS) and other federal land-managing agencies, there has been widespread application of the use of standardized fire-effects monitoring protocols. While standardization is often desirable, researchers and managers have come to recognize that 1 method does not work in all habitats with regard to application and efficiency. In 1999, in response to a wildfire that burned over 2428 ha of prairie habitat within Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument (ALFL) and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (LAMR), Texas, long-term monitoring using a newer nested quadrat frequency/importance score method was implemented. In 2001, a 2-y study was initiated to compare the time and information-gathering efficacy of the nested quadrat method with the current NPS protocol used for monitoring fire effects within grassland systems. Both sampling methods were performed within burned and unburned mesa-top prairie habitats. No statistically significant differences were detected for total species richness between the 2 methods. However, the point-line intercept transects required significantly more time to sample compared to the nested quadrats. Within shortgrass prairie habitats the nested quadrat method appears to be a more efficient and effective sampling strategy than traditional point-line intercept methods.
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|conference||18th North American Prairie Conference: promoting prairie|