Controlled Burning Studies In Old Fields

A split-plot design was used to determine the effects of controlled burning at various seasons on vegetative communities in old fields on the Laurel Hill Wildlife Management Area. Analysis of variance indicated no differences in the frequencies of grasses, legumes, and forbes resulting from September, December, March and May burns. Split-plot analysis of variance of frequencies of legumes, grasses, and forbes and frequency differences between burned and control plots indicated that benefits to bobwhite quail (colinus virginianas) (decreases in grasses and increases in legumes and forbes) can only be achieved through annual burnings, and periodic burnings may be detrimental to bobwhite quail. It was recommended that if benefits to bobwhite quail are expected, controlled burns should be conducted annually.

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