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Effects of Date and Frequency of Burning on Southern Bayberry (Myrica cerifera) in Central LouisianaAuthor(s): James D. Haywood; Henry A. Pearson; Harold E. Grelen; Thomas W. Popham
Source: Texas J. Sci. 52(4) Supplement:33-42
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionMyrica cerifera (southern bayberry or waxmyrtle) is one of the most common shrubs in the longleaf pine/bluestem forest type in the West Gulf Coastal Plain. During controlled burns, individual plants can burn intensely because the wax coated foliage and fruits are very flammable. However, Myrica cerifera can survive tires on frequently burned sites by resprouting vigorously from the root collar. To determine how burning influences the development of Myrica cerifera, this study compared several burning dates (1 March, 1 May and 1 July) and tire frequencies (one, two and three year intervals) on a site in central Louisiana. Myrica cercpra plants generally survived all burning treatments, with only two plants dying over eight growing seasons (1.3% mortality). Burning kept average shrub height at or below the initial preburn heights and significantly below the height of the non-burned plants. Final average heights and diameters of Myrica cerifera decreased significantly as the burning frequency increased and the date of burning was delayed into the growing season.
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CitationHaywood, James D.; Pearson, Henry A.; Grelen, Harold E.; Popham, Thomas W. 2000. Effects of Date and Frequency of Burning on Southern Bayberry (Myrica cerifera) in Central Louisiana. Texas J. Sci. 52(4) Supplement:33-42
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