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Impacts of a Prescribed Burn on Vernal Pool Vegetation at Miramar Naval Air Station, San Diego, California





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An experimental burn in October 1986 tested the effects of fire on vernal pool vegetation of the coastal mesas of San Diego County. In the two following years, both of which were unusually dry, pool species declined on both burned and unburned areas. In 1987, however, total plant cover was reduced significantly more in burned than in control areas. Within burned basins, relative cover of pool species declined less than in control pools, which showed greater invasion of exotic upland annuals. Pogogyne abramsii and Psilocarphus brevis- simus declined more in burned than in control pools in 1987, but recovered in 1988. Burning appeared to increase mineralization and flux of N and P into basins.