Main content area

Documenting a plant invasion: The influence of land use on buffelgrass invasion along roadsides in Sonora, Mexico

Morales-Romero, Daniel, Lopez-Garcia, Hector, Martinez-Rodriguez, Jose, Molina-Freaner, Francisco
Journal of arid environments 2019 v.164 pp. 53-59
Cenchrus ciliaris, dry environmental conditions, ecological invasion, forage, grasses, habitats, indigenous species, land use, livestock, mature plants, pastures, plant communities, rangelands, roadsides, semiarid zones, species diversity, Mexico
Buffelgrass is an African grass commonly established in pastures in arid and semiarid regions as forage for livestock. However, once established in pastures, this grass spreads and invades adjacent habitats. We evaluated buffelgrass cover along invaded roadsides and adjacent lands in the state of Sonora, Mexico to explore how land use affect invasion. Additionally, we evaluated the abundance and influence of buffelgrass in five invaded plant communities. We recorded buffelgrass in 63.6% of the sampled sites along roadsides and in 17.5% of adjacent lands in the state of Sonora. Land use has a significant effect on adjacent roadside buffelgrass cover, probably through propagule pressure. Buffelgrass abundance ranged from 1633 to 10,399 adult plants per hectare and from 0 to 1811 seeds/m2 in invaded plant communities. Our analysis of five invaded sites revealed a significant effect of buffelgrass invasion through a reduction on species diversity. Overall, our data from five sites suggest that buffelgrass invasion in rangelands is having an impact of native plant communities in the state of Sonora.