• Prescribed Burning in the Loess Hills Mixed Prairie Southern Nebraska

      Schacht, W.; Stubbendieck, J. (Society for Range Management, 1985-01-01)
      Abused rangelands dominated by introduced cool-season grasses and warm-season shortgrasses are common over much of the Mixed Prairie. Native decreaser species are primarily warm-season grasses and are present at only insignificant levels on abused rangeland in the Loess Hills of southcentral Nebraska. A single, late-spring, prescribed fire was evaluated as a method of improvement. The study area consisted of 3 tracts of plots located on Holdrege silt loam soil (Typic Argiustall) with an average annual precipitation of 550 mm. The vegetation on the tracts was in low range condition, with cool- and warm-season components being present in varying proportions on all tracts. In general, the dominant cool-season species were Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and annual bromes (Bromus spp.), and the dominant warm-season species were blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) and buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides). Burning reduced the basal cover and herbage yields of cool-season species. This favored the warm-season component. The increaser short grasses generally exhibited higher herbage yields and basal cover on burned as compared to unburned plots. These results indicate that a single, late-spring, prescribed burn may have a limited potential as a range improvement practice in the Loess Hills of south central Nebraska.