The effects of fire, litter and ash on flowering in Andropogon gerardii

TitleThe effects of fire, litter and ash on flowering in Andropogon gerardii
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsPeterson, NJ
EditorBrewer, R
Pagination21 -24
PublisherDepartment of Biology Western Michigan University
Conference LocationKalamazoo, MI
Accession NumberKNZ0048

The objective of this study was to evaluate the relative importance of the direct effects of burning on inflorescence production in Andropogon gerardii. Major treatments used included all possible combinations of presence and absence of fire, litter, and ash. The environmental variables measured included soil moisture, soil temperature, available soil nitrogen, and amount of light at the soil surface. Soil moisture was significantly less on burned plots than on unburned plots. No significant differences in available soil nitrogen were observed. Soil temperatures were significantly higher and light at the soil surface was increased when the organic material was removed. Inflorescence per m2 of canopy cover was significantly increased by the presence of fire. Litter removal and addition of ash did not significantly affect inflorescence production. The results indicate for the first time that the presence of fire itself was a more important environmental cue for increased flowering than removal of litter or addition of ash by burning