Tropical Grasslands (1994) Volume 28, 53–55

Research note
Response of Shaw creeping vigna and a perennial alyceclover accession to burning


1University of Florida, Agricultural Research Center, Ona, Florida, USA
2University of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment Station, Kings Hill, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, USA


Most grasslands have developed under burning, and the dominant grasses are tolerant of burning (Roberts 1979; Hodgkinson 1986). Roberts (1979) suggested that burning provided advantages to grasses over desirable pasture legumes, whereas Pressland (1982) considered that native legumes in Queensland speargrass were temporarily enhanced by burning. Some desirable pasture legumes including ecotypes of several Stylosanthes species, Zornia latifolia, Centrosema venosum, Galactia glaucescens and G. jussiaeana are tolerant of burning, possibly due to the ability to produce fruits underground (C. venosum), extensive development of tuberous roots containing organic reserves and regrowth points (G. jussiaeana) (Schultze-Kraft and Giacometti 1979), or the presence of underground buds initiating from root meristems (Stylosanthes) (Mott 1982).
Accidental burning of adjacent stands of bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) with either Shaw creeping vigna (Vigna parkeri) or a perennial alyceclover (Alysicarpus vaginalis) ecotype at Ona, Florida in early spring of 1988 appeared to stimulate the alyceclover but eliminated Shaw vigna. Our study was designed to evaluate the effects of burning on these two legumes.

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