Tropical Grasslands (1991) Volume 25, 333–336

Burning and exclosure can rehabilitate degraded black speargrass (Heteropogon contortus) pastures

D.M. ORR, G.M. McKEON and K.A. DAY

Brian Pastures Research Station, QDPI, Gayndah, Queensland, Australia


As part of a larger study of native pasture production at a number of sites throughout Queensland, degradational changes in pasture composition of a. black speargrass (Heteropogon contortus) pasture at a site in poor condition in southern Queensland have been shown to be reversible by management of grazing and the use of fire. Protection from grazing and annual spring burning have led to black speargrass increasing from 20% to 70% and the poor quality wire grasses (Aristida spp.) decreasing from 70% to 16% composition by weight, or 15% to 57% and 68% to 37% respectively composition by basal area over the four years- 1986–1990
The results imply that practical rehabilitation might include burning in spring for at least 2 years and lenient stocking or grazing deferment during the subsequent growing period.

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