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CitationBidwell, T. G., Engle, D. M., & Claypool, P. L. (1990). Effects of spring headfires and backfires on tall grass prairie. Journal of Range Management, 43(3), 209-212.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractWe compared responses of tallgrass prairie vegetation to late spring herdfires and backfires on a moderately stocked 2.4 AUM ha-1) shallow prairie range site 15 km southwest of Stillwater, Oklahoma. We replicated treatments 4 times in a randomized complete block design on 10 X 20-m plots oriented with the prevailing wind direction. Treatment factors included burning treatments (headfire, backfire, and unburned check) and treatment years (1986 and 1987). Herbage standing crop was clipped to ground level in tive 0.25-m2 quadrats per plot in June and August and separated into vegetation categories. Standing crop of tallgrasses in August was 21% (400 kg ha-1) greater on headfired than backfired plots. Forb standing crop in August was 26% (98 kg ha-1) greater on backfired plots than headfired plots. On tallgrass prairie managed for livestock, the area headfired should be maximized within the constraints of the bum prescription. Backfiring in late spring can be used to increase wildlife habitat on small areas.