|Buffelgrass has overrun Bear Canyon’s Seven Falls area. |
Saguaros are devastated by the wildfires Buffelgrass promotes
and few new Saguaros will grow in Buffelgrass infested area.
|Telltale: the Buffelgrass rachis, or central stem of the seed head, |
is coarse and abrasive.
Click on photo for a closer look.
Photos by Tom Skinner. Text by Mark Hengesbaugh:
In Oct. 2012, two scientific studies on Santa Catalina Mountains Buffelgrass were published. One study documents the transformation of rich, diverse Sonoran Desert upland habitat of 15-20 plant species into a “depauperate,” or impoverished, landscape containing only 2-5 species after Buffelgrass invades. The longer Buffelgrass remains on a site, the more species richness and diversity decline.Click here to access the studies. Scroll down to Buffelgrass.
The second study documents the rate at which Catalina Buffelgrass is spreading: It doubles in acreage every 2.26-7.04 years.
Combining findings of the two studies: Those Sabino Canyon and Bear Canyon hillside sections overrun with invasive Buffelgrass will double again in size within approximately five years, much sooner on south facing slopes.