Submitted to: Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2001
Publication Date: 4/1/2001
Citation: BESTELMEYER, B.T. BUFFELGRASS INVASION: WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A DESERT? CHIHUAHUAN DESERT NATURE PARK NEWSLETTER. 2001. P. 1.
Technical Abstract: This popular article summarizes the reasons why buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris=Pennisetum ciliare) may threaten biodiversity in southern desert areas. This presents an interesting problem when you consider that this grass can be used to improve forage production and reduce erosion. Unfortunately, buffelgrass also introduces fire to areas in which this disturbance has not been common (at least in recent history). This proces can result in the transformation of species-rich shrublands to species-impoverished buffelgrass monocultures. More research is needed to evaluate the costs and benefits of buffelgrass cultivation.