Effect of Fire on the Competition Between Blue Grass and Certain Prairie Plants

Author: Curtis, J. T., & Partch, M. L.

Description: Annual and biennial burns in March, May and October were made in a field of blue grass in which prairie plants had been artificially introduced. The experiments were conducted in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum at Madison, in the period from 1941 through 1946. Densities were determined annually for dominant members of the original sod, for the main weedy forbs, and for the planted prairie species. The total density of the blue grass sod was reduced to one-fifth of the original after six years of burning. This reduction was expressed almost entirely by non-fruiting stems, since the fruiting stems were constant or slightly increased in the annual burn plots. The percentage of bare ground increased greatly on the burned areas, and the resulting decrease in competition allowed certain weedy forbs (Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Aster ericoides, and Erigeron annuus) to increase in number very markedly. The responses of prairie plants to the fire varied according to species. Baptisia leucantha showed no effect of the fire, while the spread of Eryngium yuccifolium, Andropogon furcatus, Solidago rigida, and Liatris aspera was favored by the fire. Brauneria purpurea was reduced in both size and number by fire and, in addition, showed no spread into burned areas. This species differed from all of the other prairie species used in that it was able to spread by seed into the heavy blue grass sod of the control areas.

Subject headings: Prairie; Fire; Burning; Blue grass; Effects

Publication year: 1948

Journal or book title: The American Midland Naturalist

Volume: 39

Issue: 2

Pages: 437–443

Find the full text: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2421594

Find more like this one (cited by): https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=6409338696856610514&as_sdt=1000005&sciodt=0,16&hl=en

Type: Journal article

Serial number: 3106

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