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What work is the USGS doing in regard to buffelgrass control?

A decision-support model that simulates buffelgrass spread and treatment effectiveness was developed by the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, ESSA Technologies, and the USGS Invasive Species Program. This model’s prototype was developed for the Santa Catalina Mountains, Coronado National Forest, which borders the City of Tucson to the north. Important features of the model, including historical rates of buffelgrass spread and the density of buffelgrass at which biodiversity declines irreversibly (43 percent), were gleaned from plot studies in the target area.

The model was extended to Ironwood Forest National Monument, west of Tucson, with participation and funding from the Bureau of Land Management. As a training exercise for how management decisions can be made using the decision-support model, a suite of management scenarios from area land managers were simulated and presented to public agency administrators who allocate funds and resources for buffelgrass control. The model and its adoption by multiple jurisdictions to manage buffelgrass at the landscape scale could serve as a template for routine cooperation in landscape conservation in Arizona and the Southwest.

Learn more:http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=383

Tags: Vegetation, Wildlife, Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Desert, Wildfires, Conservation