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Fire ecology and management of spotted knapweed, diffuse knapweed, and yellow starthistle

Author(s): Robin J. Innes
Year Published: 2022

Spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe subsp. micranthos), diffuse knapweed (C. diffusa), and yellow starthistle (C. solstitialis) are nonnative, invasive forbs that can displace native plants, reduce native plant diversity, reduce native wildlife habitat and forage, and alter soil physical and chemical properties. They are also a threat to rangelands, causing substantial economic losses due to reductions in livestock forage and production. All three Centaurea species can establish and spread after fire, but fire is sometimes used to control them. To better understand the species’ relationships with fire, writers for the Fire Effects Information System (FEIS, www.feis-crs.org/feis/) reviewed thousands of publications and synthesized their findings into Species Reviews published in FEIS. This research brief summarizes the fire effects information from the FEIS Species Reviews regarding the biology and ecology of these species, how fire affects them, and how they respond to fire.

Citation: Innes RJ. 2022. Fire Ecology and management of spotted knapweed, diffuse knapweed, and yellow starthistle. Northern Rockies Fire Science Network Research Brief 13: 4p.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Invasive Species, Annual Invasive, Perennial Invasive, Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Prescribed Fire-use treatments
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 24382
Record updated: Mar 15, 2022