What role does prescribed fire play in managing annual bromes in Northern Great Plains grasslands?

Science Center Objects

Prescribed fire is used in grasslands throughout the Northern Great Plains National Park Service units (parks) to manage fuel loads, control nonnative species, and maintain a vital ecosystem process. Questions about its effects in areas with invasive annual brome grasses require answers to ensure its application produces desired results. Using an experimental approach at two parks in South Dakota and Nebraska, this project seeks to determine the efficacy of prescribed fire as an annual brome management tool across a range of infestation levels and to understand if follow-up herbicide application or seed addition improves adverse effects or enhances positive effects of fire. Project results will reduce uncertainty about how to maintain fire as a vital ecosystem process while also supporting other vegetation management goals in Northern Great Plains parks.