University of California

Post-fire herbicide sprays enhance native plant diversity


Joseph M. DiTomaso
Evelyn A. Healy
Daniel B. Marcum
Guy B. Kyser
Michelle S. Rasmussen

Authors Affiliations

J.M. DiTomaso is Non-Crop Extension Weed Ecologist, Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis; E.A. Healy is summer interns, UC Davis; D.B. Marcum is Farm Advisor, Shasta-Lassen Counties; G.B. Kyser is Research Support, Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis; M.S. Rasmussen is summer interns, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 51(1):6-11. DOI:10.3733/ca.v051n01p6. January 1997.

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Following catastrophic fire, broad-spectrum herbicides such as hexazinone are often used to control shrubs and forbs that compete with planted conifers. This practice encourages rapid growth and reduces mortality of conifers. Although the initial effect is to reduce native plant species richness, recovery is rapid and plant diversity exceeds that in untreated areas within 8 years of application. Success of native forb and grass species in herbicide-treated areas appears to be due to early suppression of otherwise dominant shrubs.

DiTomaso J, Healy E, Marcum D, Kyser G, Rasmussen M. 1997. Post-fire herbicide sprays enhance native plant diversity. Hilgardia 51(1):6-11. DOI:10.3733/ca.v051n01p6
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