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Keywords:

  • Andropogon ternarius;
  • Aristida mohrii;
  • Aristida purpurascens;
  • Schizachyrium scoparium var. stoloniferum;
  • Sporobolus junceus

Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) savannas depend on contiguous grass cover to facilitate frequent surface fires. Enhanced flowering, seed production, and germination may be linked to season of fires. We assessed the effect of month of prescribed fire (February, April, May, and July) on percentage of plants with flowering culms (FCs%), FC/area, FC/plant, seed production, and germination for five warm seasons, fall-flowering grasses. Multivariate analysis indicated the response of flowering and fruiting to burn month varied among the grass species. The dominant species, Sporobolus junceus and Schizachyrium scoparium var. stoloniferum, had greater numbers of most flowering characteristics when burnt during April, May, and July. Aristida purpurascens had increased FC/plant after May and July burns. In contrast, Ar. mohrii had the fewest FC/plant and seeds/FC when burnt in July. Germination was greatest (26–60%) for Ar. purpurascens. Seeds collected following July burns for Ar. purpurascens and Ar. ternarius and after May burns for S. junceus were within the highest germination values recorded. Germination of Sc. scoparium var. stoloniferum was very low after February and July burns (≤5%). With Ar. mohrii, only seed collected following February (2%) and April burns (3%) germinated. April, May, and July fires increased seed production of dominant matrix grasses, thus facilitating the potential for recruitment of these species and facilitating seed collection from potential donor sites for ground-layer restoration projects. Varying prescribed fire burn month captured variation in flowering characteristics among these grasses.