The 2009 ESA Fire at the Sevilleta

A wildfire burned across the western half of McKenzie Flats at the Sevilleta during the 2009 ESA Annual Meeting held in Albuquerque.

The fire started near the southern portion of the grassland and quickly burned through Michell Thomey's rainout shelters, the monsoon rainfall manipulation experiment, the grassland drought plots, and the small mammal exclosures. Some of our small mammal trapping webs and NPP plots were toasted, as well. The fire eventually burned all the way to black butte. In the process it managed to burn through more of Michell's rainout shelters, partially through the warming experiment, and much of our NutNet experiment. It seems that the only places that didn't burn were around the grassland flux tower, sparing all instrumentation and solar panels, and the fire seasonality experiment. As Rahm Emanuel purportedly said, never let a good crisis go to waste. In response we plan to test a set of hypotheses on recovery dynamics and microbial-plant-consumer linkages under experimental climate change in this recently burned desert grassland.