• Prescribed fire effects on dalmatian toadflax

      Jacobs, James S.; Sheley, Roger L. (Society for Range Management, 2003-03-01)
      Prescribed fires are important for rangeland restoration and affect plant community composition and species interactions. Many rangeland plant communities have been, or are under the threat of noxious weed invasion, however there is little information on how fire effects weeds. Our objective was to determine the effects of prescribed rangeland fire on dalmatian toadflax [Linaria dalmatica (L.) Miller] density, cover, biomass, and seed production. These plant characteristics, as well as density, cover, and biomass of perennial grasses and forbs were measured within burned and adjacent not-burned areas on 3 Artemisia tridentata/Agropyron spicatum habitat types in Montana. Areas were burned in the spring and measured in the fall 1999. Comparisons of plant characteristics between the burned and not-burned sites were made using t-tests and non-parametric Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests. After 1 growing season, fire did not affect density or cover of dalmatian toadflax. Burning increased dalmatian toadflax bio- mass per square meter at 2 sites, and per plant biomass at all 3 sites. Seed production of dalmatian toadflax was increased by fire at all 3 sites. Fire reduced forb cover at 1 site and increased grass biomass at 2 sites. The increases in dalmatian toadflax biomass and seed production suggest that fire used to restore healthy plant communities may increase dalmatian toadflax dominance. We recommend weed management procedures, such as herbicide control and seeding desirable species, be integrated with prescribed fire where dalmatian toadflax is present in the plant community.