Controlling Hyperthelia dissoluta (Nees ex. Steud.) Clayton (yellow thatch grass) through defoliation in southern African rangelands.
This study was conducted at sites at the Mabula Private Game Reserve where long-term burning and slashing were involved, to determine whether fire or slashing could be used to curb invasion by and to control established H. dissoluta swards. Results showed the the general trend that emerged was H. dissoluta reacted positively to fire. This species seemed to maintain itself under burning regimes with compensatory growth adaptations towards wider, lower tufts, while tiller formation was stimulated, thus promoting denser and more productive stands. It is concluded that at slashing frequencies of less than three times per year, the study showed small, but significant decreases in tuft characteristics, while slashing H. dissoluta at higher frequencies (on a 3-monthly basis or more per annum) resulted in severe tuft degeneration. Repeated mechanical defoliation is therefore suggested as an option to control this invasive grass species.