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Keywords

sericea lespedeza, prescribed burning, non-target species

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of 4 consecutive years of prescribed fire applied to native tallgrass range in either April, August, or September on forage biomass production, soil cover, and basal plant cover.

Study Description: Nine fire-management units (14 ± 6 acres) were burned at 1 of 3 prescribed times: early spring (April 1), mid-summer (August 1), or late summer (September 1). Plant species composition and soil cover were assessed annually each July using a modified step-point technique.

The Bottom Line: Burning during the summer for 4 consecutive years resulted in excellent control of sericea lespedeza, Baldwin’s ironweed, western ragweed, and invasive woody-stemmed plants, compared to traditional spring, dormant-season prescribed burning. In addition, major wildflower species prevalence increased in areas treated with prescribed fires during the summer compared with adjacent areas treated with prescribed fire during the spring.

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