Invasive Species General - 5 of 6

Invasive Species General FAQs - 6 Found

How is the USGS working to help fight invasive grasses in deserts in the southwestern US?

The wide expanses of golden annual grasslands seen in many Arizona and Nevada desert landscapes today are unnatural — the result of massive swaths of invasive, non-native brome grasses. These invasive grasses greatly heighten wildfire risk and frequency, suppressing native plant growth, harming many native animal species, drastically converting habitat types, incurring unnecessary burden to wildfire managers, and posing potential threats to desert air quality and to tourist hotspots such as Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas and Joshua Tree National Park.

USGS ecologists are collaborating with resource managers in Nevada and Arizona to test invasive grass removal methods and reseeding strategies to encourage growth of native plants like Mormon tea and blackbrush. Research is ongoing to determine a proper regimen of invasive species suppression, native plant seeding, and management of soil-seed reserves that will aid in the recovery of burned desert landscapes to their original balance and beauty. USGS is also monitoring the movements of desert tortoises that live around the burned areas and finding that each year of vegetation recovery is encouraging tortoises to move farther into the burned areas.

Learn more: USGS Ecosystems Mission Area

Buffelgrass- Intergrated Modeling of an Invasive Plant


Tags: Vegetation, Biodiversity, Desert, Wildfires