Aspen Bibliography


The Effects of Burning on Festuca Hallii in the Parklands of Central Alberta

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Canadian Journal of Botany





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The response of Festuca hallii (Vassey) Piper to time of burning was examined on the Festuca-Stipa grasslands of the Aspen Parklands at the University of Alberta Ranch located 150 km southeast of Edmonton, Alberta. Two defoliation treatments (burning and mowing) were examined on five dates in 1978 (8 April, 27 April, 1 June, 31 July, and 18 October), corresponding to different phenological stages of F. hallii. Burning and mowing reduced the standing crop of F. hallii produced in the first growing season after treatment, but tiller densities increased. Defoliation in early spring

(8 April) had little effect on the standing crop; apparently the increase in tiller density compensated for the reduction in tiller length. Inflorescence density also increased following burning or mowing from 8 April to 1 June. Soil temperature (3 cm deep) on previously burned or mown sites was greater than on the control the year after treatment. Festuca hallii tolerates single burns at any time of the year, but early spring fires have the greatest benefits by increased tillering and standing crop.