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         Management Information

    Management in some areas is aided by Bromus inermis' tendency to grow in nearly pure swaths. Sather (1987) offers a caveat, that "because of its cool season habit [B. inermis] is often lumped together with Poa pratensis," another exotic grass that affects tallgrass /mixed prairies. However, differences in the two species biology and their responses to management techniques reveal "that there is a difference in the timing of the most susceptible phenological stages of the two species" (Sather, 1987). Sather (1987) notes that "more effective management of smooth brome might be achieved by first understanding the relative proportions of B. inermis to P. pratensis and their spatial distributions in the mosaic of vegetation. Treatment schedules could then be adapted to impact smooth brome in the boot stage in areas where it is the rightful target species."

    Mechanical: Cutting smooth brome while it is still in boot stage (while the flowering head is still enclosed in sheath) may be the most effective means of mechanical control. Boot stage usually occurs while B. inermis is between 18-24 inches. Ideal conditions for cutting B. inermis include "hot moist weather at the time of cutting, followed by a dry period" (Sather, 1987). Managers of park areas may have even greater success if they continue mowing throughout the season.

    Physical: Land managers report some success in reducing the establishment, spread and abundance of smooth brome with the use of prescribed burns (Willson & Stubbendieck, 2000). Willson and Stubbendieck (2000) recommend burning in early spring at the four or five leaf stage of smooth brome. This tactic is thought to work because smooth brome is a cool season grass that begins its growth cycle and sets seeds before native warm season grasses (i.e., C4). Therefore, a properly timed prescribed fire may reduce smooth brome abundance before it set seeds, while freeing up space and resources for native warm season grasses to flourish. According to Willson and Stubbendieck (2000), warm season grasses needed to respond and achieve a minimum of 20% coverage before the next year’s growth cycle begins for this practice to effectively reduce smooth brome populations. Rigorous field testing of this management tactic has yet to be attempted.

    However, most research indicates that fire has not demonstrated an ability to effectively control B. inermis. Grilz and Romo (1994) note that tiller density, standing crop, and leaf area indices reveal that not only is B. inermis resistant to fire, but it may actually increase incidence of B. inermis as fire will restrict or kill its competitors.

    Chemical: April or May applications of glyphosate at 2kg/ha has shown some ability to control spread. Paraquat is generally less effective that glyphosate (Sather, 1987).    



         Location Specific Management Information
    Alberta
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).
    British Columbia
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).
    Manitoba
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).
    Northwest Territories
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).
    Ontario
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).
    Saskatchewan
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).
    Yukon Territory
    Control methods used to combat Bromus inermis in Canada include cutting stems close to ground level with snippers, shears or chainsaw (shearing) (Canadian Botanical Conservation Network, Undated).


         Management Resources/Links

    1. Blankespoor, G.W. & Larson, E.A .1994. Response of smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss.) to burning under varying soil moisture conditions. American Midland Naturalist 131: 266-272.
    3. Cronin, J.T., Haynes, K.J. & Dillemuth, F.P. 2004. Spider effects on planthopper mortality, dispersal, and spatial population dynamics. Ecology 85: 2134-2143.
    5. Grilz, P., and Romo, T. "Water Relations and Growth of Bromus inermis Leyss (Smooth Brome) Following Spring or Autumn Burning in a Fescue Prairie". American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 132, No. 2. (Oct., 1994), pp. 340-348.
            Summary: The authors present discussion and statistical analysis on the effect of using controlled burns as a method of control of Bromus inermis
    9. Utah State University Extension. Online database. Bromus inermis. 2002.
            Summary: Provides detailed overview of Bromus inermis' biology and effect on local environments. Also discusses management techniques.
    10. Willson, G.D., Stubbendieck, J. 2000. A provisional model for smooth brome management in degraded tallgrass prairie. Ecological Research 18(1): 34-38.

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ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland