Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 14, 2012
Publication Date: February 3, 2013
Citation: Russell, M., Vermeire, L.T., Hendrickson, J.R., Ganguli, A. 2013. Seasonal fluxes of native grass bud banks in response to season and return interval of fire in the Northern Great Plains. Society for Range Management Meeting, Oklahoma City, OK. February 3-7, 2013. Abstract #0245. Technical Abstract: Axillary buds play a fundamental role in perennial population persistence through regeneration of bud banks. However, fire could affect bud bank dynamics by altering the size and cycles of dormant and active periods. We examined impacts of fire return interval (1.5, 3, or 6 yr) and season of fire (summer, fall, spring, non-burned) on quantity and viability of axillary buds of three native perennial grasses, Bouteloua gracilis, Hesperostipa comata, and Pascopyrum smithii. Fire treatments were initiated in 2006. Tillers from each species were collected during August 2011, and March and July of 2012 and bud quantity and viability were determined. Each species differed (P < 0.01) in total buds, with B. gracilis having the greatest number of total buds per tiller (6.3 ± 0.1), P. smithii having an intermediate number (5.1 ± 0.1) and H. comata maintaining the least (3.1 ± 0.3). Fire return interval, season of sampling, and species had interacting effects (P < 0.04) on active buds. Bouteloua gracilis produced the most active buds during July following 1.5 and 3 yr return intervals (5.2, 5.7 ±0.4). March was the peak period for both H. comata and P. smithii. Active bud counts did not differ by return interval for H. comata (4.2 ± 0.4), but for P. smithii 6 yr return interval (6.9 ± 0.4) produced more active buds than 1.5 or 3 yr intervals (4.8 ± 0.4). Understanding the impact that season and return interval of fire have on axillary bud dynamics can help forecast community responses.