USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Fire Effects on Four Growth Stages of
Smooth Brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.)1

Gary D. Willson 2

USDI Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Missouri Field Station, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211 USA

James Stubbendieck

Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583 USA

Abstract
The invasion and persistence of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) are serious problems facing managers of warm-season pastures and prairie remnants in the Midwest. Although difficult to control, smooth brome can be reduced when tiller growing points are removed by management activities such as prescribed fire. This study, conducted from 1988 through 1991 at Mead, Nebraska, measured changes in smooth brome tiller density and biomass in seeded, mixed-grass stands following spring prescription burns. Burning was timed to coincide with four smooth brome growth stages and included repeated burns in consecutive years. Burning at tiller emergence did not affect smooth brome tiller density or biomass in years when precipitation was normal or below normal. However, with above normal precipitation, smooth brome biomass more than doubled the year after a tiller-emergence burn. Burning during tiller elongation, heading, and flowering significantly reduced smooth brome tiller density and biomass. Repeated burns, at tiller elongation and later stages, maintained low smooth brome tiller density and biomass. A single burn, however, allowed partial to full recovery of smooth brome density and biomass by the following year. Implications of the study are presented for management consideration.

Index terms: exotic grasses, prescribed fire, smooth brome, tiller development


This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1017):
Willson, Gary D., and James Stubbendieck.  1997.  Fire effects on four growth
     stages of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.).  Natural Areas Journal 
     17(4)306-312.
This resource should be cited as:
Willson, Gary D., and James Stubbendieck.  1997.  Fire effects on four growth
     stages of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.).  Natural Areas Journal 
     17(4)306-312.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/brominer/index.htm
     (Version 02MAR98).

Table of Contents


Gary Wilson is an Ecologist at the Missouri Field Station, Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri in Columbia. He administers long-term ecological monitoring programs in national parks of the Ozarks and central Great Plains. He also conducts research on the effects of fire on exotic and rare plants.

James Stubbendieck is Professor of Rangeland Ecology at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He teaches senior/graduate-level courses on ecology, taxonomy, and sampling techniques. He conducts research on prescribed burning and the ecology of endangered species.

1 This article is Journal series No. 11250, Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska.
2 At the time of the research, the senior author was a graduate student at the Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


Downloading Instructions -- Instructions on downloading and extracting files from this site.
(Download) brominer.zip ( 89K) -- Fire Effects on Four Growth Stages of Smooth Brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.)
Installation: Extract all files and open index.htm in a web browser.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/brominer/index.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 04:38:53 EST
Menlo Park, CA [caww55]