PAPER: Invasive Plant Issues in Estuarine Restoration
AUTHOR: Debra Ayres, postdoctoral researcher, Section of Evolution and Ecology
SYMPOSIUM DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, Feb. 20, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.
SYMPOSIUM NAME: Role of Science in the Water Issues of Northern California
ONLINE PROGRAM: http://www.aaas.org/meetings/2001/6046.00.htm
Ayres will discuss her studies, with UC Davis professor Donald Strong, of Spartina alterniflora, an invasive species of cordgrass introduced into San Francisco Bay 25 years ago. Ayres has found that hybrid offspring of S. alterniflora and a related native cordgrass, S. foliosa, are rapidly eliminating the native species in large sections of the bay. Ayres will also report that the invasive grass and the hybrids are "ecosystem engineers" capable of modifying the ecosystem by physically elevating tidal mudflats and converting them into Spartina meadows. Those open mudflats are critical feeding habitat for millions of migratory waterfowl and resident shorebirds.