Vegetation and seedbank response to Eragrostis lehmanniana removal in semi-desert communities

T. M. Crimmins, G. R. McPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Eragrostis lehmanniana (Lehmann lovegrass) is an invasive perennial bunchgrass in semi-desert grasslands in the USA. We removed E. lehmanniana using glyphosate at three locations in south-eastern Arizona in 2003 and 2004 to evaluate the community response. We also sampled the seedbank five times during the course of the experiment to characterise viable seeds at the sites. Two of the sites with histories of livestock grazing responded similarly to the continued removal of E. lehmanniana, with significant increases in native cover and species richness, mainly attributable to herbaceous annual species. Over the course of the study, progressively fewer E. lehmanniana seeds and higher numbers of native annual herb seeds were germinated from seedbank samples of treated plots. At the third site, characterised by a history of intense agricultural use and drier conditions than the other sites, there was a large decrease in E. lehmanniana cover in all plots, followed by an increase in aggressive non-native species as well as native grasses. The seedbank at this site suggested potential for restoration, with native perennial grass species present in increasing quantities. The results of this study have implications for site restoration, should a means of permanently removing E. lehmanniana be found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages10
JournalWeed Research
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

Keywords

  • Grassland
  • Introduced species
  • Invasive species
  • Lehmann lovegrass
  • Removal study
  • Seedbank

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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