Effect of fire and grazing on invasive species in northern mixed grass prairie

Metadata Updated: May 10, 2018

Invasive plants pose a threat to pristine and natural mixed grass prairie so managers seek to control them. On the basis of experience in the tall grass prairie, some hypothesize that they may be controlled with fire and grazing. The fact that the invaders are cool season species in a cool season prairie, rather than cool season species in a warm season matrix, reduces the possibility of selectively treating them- - and casts doubt on the applicability of these tools in mixed grass prairie. Long-term management experiments at Lostwood and Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) provide a near ideal opportunity to test these hypotheses. The replicated factorial experiment includes six burning treatments (0-6 burns) crossed with two grazing (grazed and ungrazed) treatments. By subsampling each unit, one can estimate the local (bottom, Nslope, S-slope, and hilltop) and regional (North Dakota vs. Montana) effects of water availability. We field-sampled units to compare the spread of nine species - - i.e., the long distance dispersal (frequency) and clonal spread (cover) - - among these treatments. Responses to various aspects of fire and grazing were measured with multiple regression. The species studied included two perennial grasses (Bromus inermis and Poa pratensis), three woody plants (Symphoricarpos occidentalis, Populus tremuloides, and Elaeagnus commutata), two perennial forbs (Cirsium arvense and Euphorbia esula) and two biennial forbs (Melilotus officinalis and Tragopogon dubius). The growth (+) of invaders with very different ecological strategies were highly correlated (p=0.0001-0.01) with aspects of environment, grazing, and fire. The responses were, however, not strong, that is, slopes of the regression lines were low and little of the variance was accounted for (low r2). In addition, the responses were inconsistent between the two nearby refuges. Thus, while managers use fire and grazing for other reasons (e.g., management of woody biomass, litter, and wildlife habitat), we see no evidence that either is useful for weed control.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date December 1, 2017
Metadata Updated Date May 10, 2018

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI CKAN Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date December 1, 2017
Metadata Updated Date May 10, 2018
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_60235
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code "010:18"
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Harvest Source Id 9364572a-43e2-4cb5-a0ee-589c8af0e137
Harvest Source Title FWS-servecat
Data First Published 2003-03-03
Homepage URL https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/60235
Data Last Modified 2003-03-03
Program Code "010:094", "010:028"
Related Documents "https://www.firescience.gov/projects/01B-3-3-03/project/01B-3-3-03_final_report.pdf", "https://ecos.fws.gov/ServCat/Reference/Profile/60235"
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