5th Symposium on Fire and Forest Meteorology and the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress

Wednesday, 19 November 2003: 1:30 PM
Using fire to manage invasive plants
Matthew L. Brooks, USGS, Henderson, NV; and C. M. D'Antonio and D. A. Pyke
Fire has a long association with vegetation management of both wildland and cropland environments. The applications of fire in these two environments have similarities and differences. In croplands, fire is normally used as post-harvest technique to reduce seed banks of crop competitors. Cropland fuels are either dried crop stubble or they are provided by fossil fuels. In wildlands, fires may occur anytime during the invasive plantís life cycle provided fuel moisture and weather are sufficient to carry a fire. Predicting successful control of invasive species by fire, regardless of the land type, requires knowledge of the invasive plantís morphology and life history relative to the time for potential fires. Fire temperature and behavior play a major role in determining invasive and desirable plant survival. Post-fire management may contribute to the success or failure in invasive species control. In some ecosystems, the ability for the native community to recover after wildfires may be diminished by the lack of native plants or propagules to quickly reestablish and occupy the available resources and space. In these cases, revegetation may be required. The multitude of environmental conditions that occur pre- and post-fire will influence the control of invasive plants, research is not likely to test all scenarios, therefore, adequate monitoring of weather, fire behavior, and post-fire treatments and responses may provide both science and management with useful information on the future potential for fire to control invasive plants.

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