Spring burning: Resulting avian abundance and nesting in Kansas CRP
Robel, R. J.
Hughes, J. P.
Hull, S. D.
Kemp, K. E.
Klute, D. S.
Society for Range Management
Publication Year

Spring burning is used to control invasion by woody vegetation of rangelands in eastern Kansas and also of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields planted to native grasses. We measured the effects of spring burning of CRP fields on vegetation structure and avian populations in northeastern Kansas during the summers of 1992 through 1995. Several vegetation characteristics differed between burned and unburned CRP fields in May, but few differed in July. Mean avian abundance on burned CRP fields was 5.6 birds km-1 of survey transect, significantly less (P < 0.01) than the 8.6 km-1 on unburned fields. The avian-assemblages on burned and unburned fields differed more in May/June [Morisita's Index to Similarity (MIS) = 0.86] than in June/July or July/August (MIS = 0.98 and 0.97, respectively). Avian species richness ranged from 12 to 21 on burned fields and from 10 to 19 on unburned fields. A total of 27 nests was found on burned fields, significantly less (P < 0.01) than the 372 found on unburned fields. The 22.2% nesting success on burned fields was not significantly different (P = 0.205) than the 34.1% success on unburned fields. Spring burning reduced bird-nest numbers in the summer of the same year, but did not reduce significantly (P = 0.235) the number of nests found in those fields the following summers nor the abundance of birds or nesting success. Avoidance of annual burning would reduce adverse impacts on bird populations relying on CRP fields for nesting habitat. The Journal of Range Management archives are made available by the Society for Range Management and the University of Arizona Libraries. Contact lbry-journals@email.arizona.edu for further information. Migrated from OJS platform August 2020

Resource Type
Document Type
Journal Issue/Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Additional Information
Robel, R. J., Hughes, J. P., Hull, S. D., Kemp, K. E., & Klute, D. S. (1998). Spring burning: Resulting avian abundance and nesting in Kansas CRP. Journal of Range Management, 51(2), 132-138.
OAI Identifier
Journal Volume
Journal Number
Journal Pages
Journal Name
Journal of Range Management
wild birds
brush control
fire ecology
prescribed burning