Prescribed burning has primarily been used as a tool for the control of invasive late-season annual broadleaf and grass species, particularly yellow starthistle, medusahead, barb goatgrass, and several bromes. However, timely burning of a few invasive biennial broadleaves (e.g., sweetclover and garlic mustard), perennial grasses (e.g., bluegrasses and smooth brome), and woody species (e.g., brooms and Chinese tallow tree) also has been successful. In many cases, the effectiveness of prescribed burning can be enhanced when incorporated into an integrated vegetation management program. Although there are some excellent examples of successful use of prescribed burning for the control of invasive species, a limited number of species have been evaluated. In addition, few studies have measured the impact of prescribed burning on the long-term changes in plant communities, impacts to endangered plant species, effects on wildlife and insect populations, and alterations in soil biology, including nutrition, mycorrhizae, and hydrology. In this review, we evaluate the current state of knowledge on prescribed burning as a tool for invasive weed management.
Nomenclature: Barb goatgrass, Aegilops triuncialis L. #3 AEGTR; Canada bluegrass, Poa compressa L. # POACO; Chinese tallow tree, Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. # SAQSE; downy brome, Bromus tectorum L. # BROTE; French broom, Genista monspessulana (L.) L. Johnson # TLNMO; garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata Andrz. # ALAPE; Kentucky bluegrass, Poa pratensis L. # POAPR; medusahead, Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski; red brome, Bromus madritensis L. ssp. rubens (L.) Husnot # BRORU; ripgut brome, Bromus diandrus Roth # BRODI; Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link # SAOSC; smooth brome, Bromus inermis Leysser # BROIN; sweetclover, Melilotus spp.; yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis L. # CENSO.
Additional index words: Fire, integrated vegetation management, rangelands, wildlands.