Influence of Smoke on Germination of Southern High Plains Species



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Although smoke has been known to influence germination of species from many Mediterranean-climate ecosystems, little is known about how species in the Southern High Plains region of Texas respond to smoke. I tested four native plant species sideoats grama, “El Reno”; blue grama, “Hachita”; plains coreopsis, “Plains”; and Illinois bundleflower, using aerial smoke and heat from in-situ prescribed fire as an application method for in-situ germination responses. I tested the same species, and honey mesquite, using varying concentrations of liquid smoke for ex-situ germination responses in a lab setting. Aerial smoke neither inhibited nor increased germination of some species, but liquid smoke had inhibitory effects at specific concentrations on all species. This knowledge of inhibitory effects may allow for targeted use as a pre-treatment application of some species in rangeland management methods. Additional testing of even more species may increase our knowledge of germination responses of smoke applications, providing greater flexibility for managing rangelands in this region.



Smoke, Germination, Southern High Plains, Prescribed fire, Aqueous smoke