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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Effect of defoliation and potassium fertilization on wiregrass flowering and seed production
Year: 2002
Author(s): Silvoy, J., Pfaff, S., Gates, R.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 72-74
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Wiregrass is a keystone species of the longlead/wiregrass communities of the southeast, contributing significant amounts of fine fuels for understory burn management programs. Therefore, those wishing to reestablish pineland habitats often desire to first establish wiregrass. Dependable commercial supplies of seed are needed to meet this growing demand. Little information is available to enhance seed production, either from existing natural stands or form monoculture production fields. Cultural methods, which will maximize viable seed production and stand longevity, need to be developed. Experiments were conducted over two seasons on nursery plantings at the Brooksville, FL NRCS Plant Materials Center and natural stands at the University of Georgia Alapaha Station to quantify management effects on seed production. Seed production was monitored in nursery plantings at Brooksville, following mowing or July burning, with or without K fertilization. Clipping wiregrass plants close to ground level was effective stimulating production of reproductive tillers as burning but plant survival was improved. Potassium fertilization did not influence seed production or viability. In natural stands at Alapaha, ground level mowing with a sickle bar followed by raking increased the proportion of plants producing reproductive culms and the number of culms per plant in flower compared to unmowed areas. In the second year, rotary mowing (100 mm stubble) did not stimulate flowering.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall