Monday, December 10, 2012

Invasive Buffelgrass Overruns 7 Falls in Bear Canyon

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.
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. 
Click here to access the studies. Scroll down to Buffelgrass.

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