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Article: Invasive Plant Research Yields Some Good News: Not so for Buffelgrass

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Forum: Article: Invasive Plant Research Yields Some Good NewsReplies: 1, Views: 11
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Tucson, AZ

March 28, 2011
10:20 AM

Post #8455957

Thank you for your article. It's good to know that not all exotic invasives are doing more harm than good. That way, we can focus efforts on the exotic invasives that matter.
Here in the Sonoran Desert and in the arid parts of Australia, buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare or Cenchrus ciliare) is a great risk. Australia has declared it a "category one" invasive weed, which means it's recognized as a terrestrial species capable of destroying an ecosystem. Computer modelings indicates that it could infest more than 60% of the continent. Here, buffelgrass fills in the open spaces used by our "Arizona Highways" type wildflower displays, crowds out native plant food sources for animals, impedes their movement, changes the soil hydrology, alters natural runoff/flooding, and such. But the greatest risk is fire, which threatens signature species (plants and animals), homes and buildings/improvements, and human lives, particularly those of firefighters who must deal with these very hot, rapidly moving fires. Buffelgrass multiplies the fuel load in the natural areas and burns hot enough to melt aluminum, all in an ecosystem that evolved without hot or extensive fire.
We are in a bit of trouble here. Much is being done to fight it, research, early detection and response, and control efforts, with many organizations partnering in this fight. Community awareness is good, volunteers are essential, but money is always tight. We are having successes at a small scale, which is encouraging, but the problem is huge.


Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 28, 2011
1:58 PM

Post #8456423

You certainly make a case for that grass having many adverse effects in that area. Thanks for enlightening the readers about that.

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Other Article: Invasive Plant Research Yields Some Good News Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Nice job! GardenSox 3 Mar 22, 2011 7:03 PM
Great article, thank you! Sermoneta 2 May 13, 2011 4:47 PM
The meddling of man! binibusybee 3 Jun 11, 2012 10:55 AM

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