Three King Ranch Bluestem Plots, July 2007
by Bob Harms
Three different KR Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum var. songarica) areas in the bottomland with deep soil and full sun in which KR has been most invasive and persistent were selected and 1 x 2 yard plots were marked off. The pictures below, taken on July 14, are typical of areas showing a clear progression from
- densest KR in area 1 (burned), almost a monoculture;
- not quite so dense in area 2, with scattered bare spaces and a few forbs such as wild petunia (Ruellia nudiflora); and
- sparse, large clumps with very few green blades in area 3, and numerous small forbs (wild petunia and plateau silverbush (Argythamnia simulans)).
- 19-year burn area. It was burned to the ground as a result of dry lightning in July 1988.
- 19-year mown area, immediately adjacent to the burn area. It was last mown in July 1988 to create a 'road lane' just prior to the burn event. The burn stopped by itself when it reached the green mown area.
- 30-year undisturbed area. It not been grazed or mown since the removal of cattle in 1977.
Examples of more extreme densities.