Great Basin Naturalist


The efficacy of cutting (haying) versus burning was compared for control of marsh vegetation in Utah. Cutting reduced production of hardstem bulrush (Scirpus lacustris), alkali bulrush (S. maritimus), and cattail (Typha spp.) compared to levels found on burned plots, but differences were significant (P < 0.05) only within the alkali bulrush vegetation type. Clipping saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) plots greatly reduced production upon reflooding, which produced results similar to prescribed burning and reflooding. Heat penetration into the sediments during the fire was not sufficient to cause substantial belowground mortality. Without belowground mortality, prescribed burning alone did not change aboveground production or species composition. Flooding after fire did eliminate saltgrass, but a single prescribed burning or cutting was not an effective management tool for reducing production of cattail, hardstem bulrush, and alkali bulrush.