Adequate management of defoliation post-fire would not affect the metabolic activity of axillary buds on grasses
Controlled burning is often used to improve plant structure on rangelands adapted to fire. However, possible damage resulting from post-fire grazing to reappearing desirable plant species may be a serious issue hindering usage of this method. Axillary buds are essential for the re-establishment of the photosynthetic leaf area. We studied if post-burn defoliation affects the number of axillary buds and/or their metabolic activity in Poa ligularis, Nassella tenuis (both desirable plant species) and Amelichloa ambigua (undesirable plant species). We found that the treatments limited neither bud production nor their metabolic activity. The greatest number of total and viable buds in the studied plant species was recorded at the vegetative stage. Poa ligularis had the lowest bud number per tiller but the greatest per plant. Our results thus indicate that moderate defoliation after controlled burning does not affect the survival and productivity of the desirable species.