prescribed burning, sericea lespedeza, tallgrass prairie


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) control strategies of late summer prescribed burning and fall her­bicide application on soil cover, native plant populations, and biological diversity.

Study Description: We established 16 individual units within an 80-acre native tallgrass pasture. Each unit was assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: control, spray only, burn only, or burn-plus-spray. Burn only and burn-plus-spray units were burned in early September. Spray only and burn-plus-spray units were sprayed with metsulfuron methyl (Escort XP, DuPont, Wilmington, DE) in late September. The change in soil cover and plant community composition from prior to treatment application to 1 year after treatment was measured.

The Bottom Line: The benefits of curbing a major invasion of sericea lespedeza may make burn-plus-spray a desirable short-term strategy in some instances, but widespread or extended use of the practice should be applied with caution.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.