An assessment of revegetation treatments following removal of invasive Pennisetum ciliare (buffelgrass)

S. R. Woods, Jeffrey Fehmi, D. M. Backer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In semi-arid regions of North America and Australia, Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link (syn. Cenchrus ciliaris; buffelgrass) is highly invasive and has the potential to introduce fire to fire-intolerant ecosystems. Major efforts to remove P. ciliare continue and it is essential that P. ciliare be prevented from recolonizing. This study investigated potential methods to revegetate with native herbaceous plants: sowing seeds; sowing seeds and mulching; sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings; and relying on natural revegetation from the seedbank. The treatments were applied in 2009 and 2010 at sites in the Sonoran Desert which had undergone P. ciliare removal. Monsoon precipitation was below average each year and seedling emergence and establishment rates were low. There are indications that soil disturbance associated with planting seedlings promoted P. ciliare emergence and increased mortality of brittlebush (Encelia farinosa A. Gray ex Torr.), a common native perennial forb. Addition of mulch may have promoted P. ciliare over native grasses, and seeding had no effect. We did not find competition between herbaceous seedlings. Rather, native and exotic grass seedling densities were positively correlated across sites. Under prevailing conditions, low precipitation appeared to limit herbaceous plant establishment and none of the treatments reduced P. ciliare abundance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Fingerprint

Cenchrus ciliaris
revegetation
land restoration
sowing
seedling
seed
herb
grass
mulching
seedlings
seedling emergence
seedling establishment
mulch
herbaceous plants
seeding
semiarid region
Encelia farinosa
monsoon
desert
grasses

Keywords

  • Mulch
  • Rehabilitation
  • Restoration
  • Seedling
  • Sonoran Desert
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Ecology

Cite this

An assessment of revegetation treatments following removal of invasive Pennisetum ciliare (buffelgrass). / Woods, S. R.; Fehmi, Jeffrey; Backer, D. M.

In: Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 87, 12.2012, p. 168-175.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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