Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Site Preparation, Hand Pulling, and Burning Effects on a Developing Native Plant Community on a Spotted Knapweed-Infested Site


Biology Department


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Life Sciences


Establishment of native plant communities on degraded sites often requires control of invasive species such as spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe L.), but the resistance of restored native plant communities to knapweed resurgence is uncertain. Since 2009, we have studied the effects of site preparation, hand pulling, and burning treatments on native plant community development on a knapweed-infested site in western Michigan. Initial treatment with clopyralid has provided multiple years of knapweed control and increased mean C of the restored plant community. Hand pulling has reduced knapweed cover to less than 0.05%, while also favoring native forb cover. Burning has increased bare soil, reduced non-native grass cover, and increased cover of smaller, less-competitive non-native forbs. While burning has had no significant effects on either seeded native grass or knapweed cover for any treatment combination, in 2014 burning appeared to increase knapweed suppression on non-pulled plots where total grass cover exceeded 50%.

Conference Name

Restoring Native Ecosystems 2015

Conference Location

East Lansing, Michigan

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