Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 6, 2004
Publication Date: February 9, 2005
Citation: Young, J.A., Clements, C.D. 2005. Mustard species as new invasive weeds [abstract]. Proceedings of the Society for Range Management, February 5/11/05, Fort Worth, Texas. 58:76. Technical Abstract: The semi-arid and arid plant communities of the Intermountain west have been extremely susceptible to invasion by exotic annual weeds. A few biennial, and fewer yet perennial exotic weeds have become widespread on upland range communities in the sagebrush steppe and salt desert vegetation zones. Exotic, invasive annual grasses are the first species that come to mind when you consider rangeland weeds in the Intermountain Area. Annual grasses currently dominate millions of hectares of former shrub/bunchgrass rangelands. At the other end of the succession scale are chenopod annuals. In the middle there has always been mustard species as a transitional step to annual grass dominance. During the past decade the number and ecological diversity of mustard family species has greatly increased on Intermountain rangelands. Some are new introductions to North America while others have been introduced for a century, but only recently have become widespread. The obvious question is why? Is the increase in mustard species due to changes in management, reflect climate change, or just due to chance? A definite answer is difficult to obtain, but the presence of the species and the impact they are having on rangeland environments are real.