Fuel manipulation with herbicide treatments to reduce fire hazard in young pine (Pinus elliottiiXP. caribaea) plantations in south-east Queensland, Australia
Wildfire represents a major risk to pine plantations. This risk is particularly great for young plantations (generally less than 10 m in height) where prescribed fire cannot be used to manipulate fuel biomass, and where flammable grasses are abundant in the understorey. We report results from a replicated field experiment designed to determine the effects of two rates of glyphosate (450 g L-1) application, two extents of application (inter-row only and inter-row and row) with applications being applied once or twice, on understorey fine fuel biomass, fuel structure and composition in south-east Queensland, Australia. Two herbicide applications (~9 months apart) were more effective than a once-off treatment for reducing standing biomass, grass continuity, grass height, percentage grass dry weight and the density of shrubs. In addition, the 6-L ha-1 rate of application was more effective than the 3-L ha-1 rate of application in periodically reducing grass continuity and shrub density in the inter-rows and in reducing standing biomass in the tree rows, and application in the inter-rows and rows significantly reduced shrub density relative to the inter-row-only application. Herbicide treatment in the inter-rows and rows is likely to be useful for managing fuels before prescribed fire in young pine plantations because such treatment minimised tree scorch height during prescribed burns. Further, herbicide treatments had no adverse effects on plantation trees, and in some cases tree growth was enhanced by treatments. However, the effectiveness of herbicide treatments in reducing the risk of tree damage or mortality under wildfire conditions remains untested.
International Journal of Wildland Fire
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Forestry Sciences not elsewhere classified
Ecology not elsewhere classified