Influence of fire on Callery pear in a managed prairie

Document Type

Poster Session

Presentation Date


Conference Name

Midwest Great Lakes Society for Ecological Restoration Annual Chapter Meeting

Conference Location

Chicago, Illinois


Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is an invasive tree introduced to North America as an ornamental from southwest Asia. It easily invades disturbed areas, causing a disruption to mid- to latesuccessional species establishment. The purpose of this study was to assess Callery pear demographics in a managed prairie and quantify the effects of a prescribed fire management strategy on Callery pear density and recruitment. This study was conducted at Arrowhead Prairie, Allen County, Indiana, managed by Little River Wetlands Project. Before 2009, Arrowhead Prairie was primarily used for agriculture. Following Little River Wetlands Project acquisition, the property has undergone active management including native plant seeding and prescribed fire. The prairie was divided into a north and south section, with the south section burned in April 2015 and the north section left unburned as a control. Fire top killed Callery pear individuals, with 100% producing root sprouts and 83% producing more than one root sprout. In the unburned section 13% of pear individuals produced root sprouts. In the burned section, trees were approximately 30 cm shorter than prior to the burn. However, the mid-season stem heights for burned trees were not different from the pre-season stem heights for the unburned trees. While fire did not reduce stem height, it did increase the number of stems occurring within the burned section. Root stored reserves provided necessary energy to produce numerous sprouts by the majority of pear trees. Continued field work for this project will follow these trees for additional growing seasons assessing growth and reproduction.



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