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Targeting Vulnerable Life-Stages of Sericea Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) with Prescribed Burns

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Bryant M. Wong*
Department of Biological Sciences, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, 67260
Gregory R. Houseman
Department of Biological Sciences, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, 67260
Sarah E. Hinman
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas
Bryan L. Foster
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas
Corresponding author's E-mail:


There is growing interest in whether invasive species may be controlled by utilizing management strategies that target vulnerable life stages. We manipulated the timing of fire and measured its effects on sericea lespedeza germination and seedling survival. Although fire strongly decreased germination in the laboratory, fire increased germination under field conditions. Additionally, fire caused small decreases in seedling survival in the field. Therefore, controlled burns are likely to encourage spread of sericea lespedeza and are unlikely to effectively control this invasive species. Although targeting vulnerable life stages is a promising strategy for invasive species control, our results illustrate that system-specific studies may be needed to unravel potentially complex interactions between biotic and abiotic factors before effective control strategies can be devised.

Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

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