lmperata cylindrica (L.) is a weed which establishes and spreads by seed and rhizomes, competitively ousting other species in a stand that it colonizes. In unburnt areas the shoots are brownish-yellow, unpalatable and not grazed. The canopy becomes underlain by a thick layer of dead undecomposed leaves which significantly reduce the flow of light through the foliage, consequently reducing the numbers and dry matter production of the other species in the grassland community. Burning removes the dead cover and allows I. cylindrica to generate quickly, flower gregariously and the sprouting leaves are readily grazed. Grazing or clipping reduces the performance of the species. Under natural conditions, burning, followed by intensive grazing, can suppress the competitive vigour of the weed and permit co-existence of a large number of species in the stand.