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1 October 2006 Competitive Effects of the Invasive Grass Rhynchelytrum repens (Willd.) C.E. Hubb. on Pine Rockland Vegetation
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Abstract

The widely invasive grass Rhynchelytrum repens (Willd.) C.E. Hubb. invades globally-imperiled pine rockland forests of South Florida. To examine whether its spread into and persistence in undisturbed areas pose a threat to native species, we investigated whether the presence of R. repens was associated with a decline in the diversity and abundance of native pine rockland understory plants. We showed R. repens density class was strongly associated with a reduction in native species diversity, with high density (20% cover) plots having five fewer species than low density (0.2%) ones. When we separated species by functional groups, we found that graminoids were affected much more than other native species, with R. repens cover explaining 23% of the variation in graminoid diversity. Rhynchelytrum repens is indeed causing harm to pine rockland diversity, and we recommend that land managers take action to: (1) treat infestations before they reach 30% cover, and (2) remove infestations of any density adjacent to natural areas.

Jennifer Possley and Joyce Maschinski "Competitive Effects of the Invasive Grass Rhynchelytrum repens (Willd.) C.E. Hubb. on Pine Rockland Vegetation," Natural Areas Journal 26(4), (1 October 2006). https://doi.org/10.3375/0885-8608(2006)26[391:CEOTIG]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 October 2006
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