Creeping Bluestem Response to Prescribed Burning and Grazing in South Florida
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CitationWhite, L. D., & Terry, W. S. (1979). Creeping bluestem response to prescribed burning and grazing in south Florida. Journal of Range Management, 32(5), 369-371.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractMany research studies have developed guidelines for managing wiregrass ranges to improve utilization of relatively unpalatable Aristida and Sporobolus spp. This traditional management has generally produced low livestock returns. Recent management trends have been toward the promotion and utilization of more desirable bluestems, paspalums, panicums, etc. This study was initiated to determine how wiregrass management affects excellent creeping bluestem pastures. Results indicate that prescribed burning stimulated reproductive clum development at the expense of foliage production. Grazing of burned areas with dominance of reproductive culms resulted in a substantial decrease in creeping bluestem tiller survival and herbage production. Continuous grazing of burned areas allows the more grazing resistant wiregrasses and shrubs to increase and probably accounts for the present expanse of wiregrass ranges. Deferment of grazing until seedset of desirable grasses following late winter burning would promote the development of productive bluestem pastures. Prescribed burning is a recommended practice to be continued for south Florida; however, it should occur after cattle have been removed from the pasture. A rotation system with fire every 3 to 5 years is suggested to improve ranges from wiregrass to bluestem dominance and to maintain creeping bluestem pastures.