Study

Winter burning and the reduction of Cornus sericea in sedge meadows in southern Wisconsin

  • Published source details Middleton B. (2002) Winter burning and the reduction of Cornus sericea in sedge meadows in southern Wisconsin. Restoration Ecology, 10, 723-730.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance

Action Link
Peatland Conservation
  1. Use prescribed fire to maintain or restore disturbance

    A replicated, controlled study in 1998–2000 in a degraded, shrubby sedge meadow in Wisconsin, USA (Middleton 2002) found that burned plots contained more plant species than unburned plots, and had greater sedge/rush cover, but lower tree/shrub and forb cover and similar grass cover. The cover results were not tested for statistical significance. Over two subsequent years, species richness was higher in burned plots (7.1 species/0.2 m2) than unburned plots (6.5 species/0.2 m2). Burned plots also had greater cover of sedges/rushes (burned: 15–39%; unburned: 10–28%), but lower tree/shrub cover (burned: 0–11%; unburned: 6–12%) and lower forb cover (burned: 11–28%; unburned: 18–35%). Grass cover was similar in burned (1–12%) and unburned plots (0–9%). The cover results were not tested for statistical significance. Fifty-six 20 x 20 m plots were established in a degraded sedge meadow (historically burned and, in parts, grazed). Sedge meadows are sedge-dominated peatlands, fed by ground water. In December 1998, 33 plots were burned whilst 23 were not. In August 1999 and 2000 cover and height of every species were recorded, in one 0.2 m2 quadrat/plot.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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