Efficacy of fire, herbicide and mowing on smooth brome and re-establisment of a sand prairie
Bolwahn, Jessica A.
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Smooth brome (Bromus inermis) is an invasive grass native to Eurasia that is now nearly ubiquitous in North America and is frequently encountered in sites targeted for prairie restoration. For this study, I investigated the efficacy of fire, herbicide (2% glyphosate), mowing, and fire plus herbicide for controlling smooth brome and re-establishing a sand prairie community in southwestern Wisconsin. Seven treatments, a seed only control, and full control were replicated 8 times in a randomized block design. Treatments were applied after the presence of five leaves per tiller. Repeat treatments were applied the following year. Smooth brome foliar cover and stem density, seeded species foliar cover and richness, litter depth, light availability, and soil moisture measurements were obtained throughout the study period. Model III two-factor ANOVAs were utilized to determine any differences among treatments. The fire plus herbicide combination treatment was by far the most effective treatment for removing smooth brome and promoting seeded species establishment. However, this may not be the most appropriate method for all land managers. Understanding the effect of the other treatments examined here will increase the confidence in the expected outcome of a restoration and contribute to sound management decisions with fewer wasted resources.
Smooth brome, Wisconsin
Prairie restoration, Wisconsin