Prescribed burning was utilized as a management tool on grasslands of the Northern Great Plains. We analyzed the use of fire to manipulate encroaching and unpalatable western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis), to promote browsing and improve nutritive quality. Fire was successful at altering the nutrient quality of western snowberry and selectivity of grazing livestock from plant specific to patch specific. Additionally, we evaluated the difference between burn season and frequency on plant community dynamics of an ungrazed tallgrass prairie invaded by Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Fire promoted native forb and grass species, stressing that native species are well adapted to the historical disturbance. Our research emphasizes the need for restored fire regimes in the Northern Great Plains to benefit numerous aspects of prairie ecosystem function, stability, services, and productivity.
Rangeland Ecology & Management
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