Title: Extent of Kentucky bluegrass and its effect on native plant species diversity and ecosystem services in the Northern Great Plains of the USA Authors
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The geographic spread of Kentucky bluegrass in rangelands of the USA has increased significantly over the past 3 decades. Preliminary analysis indicates that Kentucky bluegrass occupies over half of all ecological sites across the Northern Great Plains. Kentucky bluegrass has served as nutritious forage during certain times of the year, it is a widely used turf grass, and has been used as a soil stabilizer against erosion. However, the consequences of the rapid Kentucky bluegrass expansion on native plant species diversity and ecosystem services have received little attention. The invasion and expansion of Kentucky bluegrass in the Northern Great Plains has contributed to the decrease of native prairie community integrity and plant diversity and has altered plant community structure and function. We review available research related to Kentucky bluegrass and evaluate its effects on native plant diversity and ecosystem services. Based on our review, we found that invasion may bring serious negative consequences to ecosystem services and restoration of native rangelands and greater native landscape connectivity is needed to maintain the flow of ecosystem goods and services from these rangeland ecosystems.