Invasive Grass in Texas Uses Chemical Warfare to Crowd Out Native Species
By: UT Texas, Austin
AUSTIN, Texas — An invasive grass causing havoc in Texas and contributing to wildfires packs a one-two wallop against native plants. Guinea grass uses a combination of crowding that blocks out light from growing seedlings and what amounts to a chemical warfare in soil that is toxic to native plants, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
The findings are published in the journal Ecosphere.
Guinea grass is one of the most ecologically damaging invasive species in the world, arriving in South Texas from Africa more than 100 years ago, to help feed cattle. In the past 20 years, it has spread aggressively across the region and can now be found along roadsides as far north as Austin, bringing with it the risk of more frequent, high-intensity wildfires.
The researchers said knowing about how an invasive species takes over an area is an important step in figuring out how to control and reduce it in the environment.
Read more here: https://news.utexas.edu/2023/03/10/invasive-grass-in-texas-uses-chemical-warfare-to-crowd-out-native-species/?utm_campaign=04-06-23+-+%F0%9F%8C%B1+Researcher&utm_source=Message&utm_medium=Linkedin