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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Post-Fire Control of Invasive Plants Promotes Native Recovery in a Burned Desert Shrubland

Published source details

Steers R.J. & Allen E.B. (2010) Post-Fire Control of Invasive Plants Promotes Native Recovery in a Burned Desert Shrubland. Restoration Ecology, 18, 334-343


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Apply herbicide and remove plants to control grass Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled, paired study in 2005–2008 in creosote bush shrubland invaded by non-native grasses in California, USA (Steers & Allen 2010) found that spraying with herbicide, followed by weeding, decreased invasive grass cover, increased the cover of native grass and forb species, but did not increase the number of annual plant species. Areas that were sprayed with herbicide and were weeded had lower non-native grass cover (0–38%) than areas that were not sprayed or weeded (40–65%). Also, areas that were sprayed with herbicide and weeded had lower had higher cover of native grass and forb species (20–87%) than areas that were not sprayed or weeded (13–36%). However, the number of native annual plants was not significantly different in areas that had been sprayed with herbicide and weeded (4–18%) and unsprayed and unweeded areas (23–37%). In January 2006 and 2008 twelve 8 m x 8 m plots were sprayed with the grass specific herbicide Fusilade-II and then weeded by hand while twelve other plots were not sprayed with herbicide or weeded. Plant cover was recorded in March-April 2006 and 2008 in 0.5 m2 quadrats located in each plot.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Rake to control grass Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled, paired study in 2005–2008 in creosote bush shrubland that was invaded by non-native grasses in California, USA (Steers & Allen 2010) found that raking reduced invasive grass cover but did not increase the number of annual plant species, and also reduced the cover of native grasses and forb species in two of four cases. In four of four cases areas that were raked had lower non-native grass cover (36–39%) than areas that were not raked (60–65%). In four of four cases the number of annual plant species in areas that had been raked (2–4 species/plot) did not differ significantly from the areas that had not been raked (3–4 species/plot). However, in two of four cases cover of native grass and forb species was lower in areas that had been raked (4–18%) than in areas that had not been raked (23–37%). In January 2006 and 2008 twelve 8 m x 8 m plots were raked to remove invasive grasses while twelve other plots were not raked. Plant cover was recorded in March-April 2006 and 2008 in 0.5 m2 quadrats located in each plot.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)

Use herbicide to control grass Shrubland and Heathland Conservation

A randomized, replicated, controlled, paired site study in 2005–2008 in creosote bush shrubland that was invaded by non-native grasses in California, USA (Steers & Allen 2010) found that spraying with herbicide reduced the cover of non-native grasses in four of four cases, increased the number of annual plant species in two of four cases and increased cover of native grass and forb species in three of four cases. In four of four cases, areas sprayed with herbicide had lower non-native grass cover (0–27%) than areas where no herbicide was sprayed (40–65%). In two of four cases, areas where herbicide had been sprayed had more annual plant species (7 species/plot) than areas that had not been sprayed (4–5 species/plot). In three of four cases where herbicide was sprayed cover of native grass and forb species was higher (58–89% cover) than areas where no herbicide was sprayed (22–37% cover). In January 2006 and 2008 twelve 8 x 8 m plots were sprayed with the grass specific herbicide Fusilade-II while in twelve other plots herbicide was not sprayed. Plant cover was recorded in March-April 2006 and 2008 in 0.5 m2 quadrats located in each plot.

(Summarised by Phil Martin)