Unveiling all of the consequences: Introduced plants may be causing hidden trouble

Researchers have long debated the consequences of introducing non-native species into ecosystems. Recently, these debates have centered upon the effects of invasive exotics, and dramatic pictures of grasslands filled with leafy spurge, water pipes clogged by zebra mussels, and forest trees killed by kudzu vines have fostered the publics understanding of the issue. But now, two Canadian scientists are suggesting that even the introduction of some less aggressive species may have far-reaching negative repercussions.

Janice Christian and Scott Wilson studied crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) to test a controversial hypothesis: that the consequences of introducing exotic species can extend far beyond the simple displacement of native plants and animals. Their work, published in the October issue of the journal Ecology, suggests that crested wheatgrass has precipitated a decline in soil quality and may have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Crested wheatgrass (sometimes called fairway wheatgrass) has wrested the soil from native grasses on much of the northern Great Plains, but its conquest has seemed relatively harmless to the larger environment. The grass was originally brought to the Americas from Siberia during the drought-filled years of the Dust Bowl, when farms were failing and the local prairie grass was producing scant fodder for cattle. Farmers discovered that the wheatgrass was hardy, produced good hay, resisted drought and overgrazing, and had a long growing season. It was so successful that ranchers and government agencies still continue to spread it (and several close relatives) enthusiastically from the Great Basin to the Northern Plains. It currently blankets 25 million acres of prairie in North America.

To determine how crested wheatgrass affects the prairie ecosystem, Christian and Wilson compared hundreds of samples of grass and soil from Canada's Grasslands National Park in southwestern Saskatchewa

Contact: Alison Gillespie
Ecological Society of America

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Introduced marine species get larger in the invaded region
2. New research shows plants can shuffle and paste gene pieces to generate genetic diversity
3. Pollutant causes delayed flowering in plants
4. Purdue study finds antioxidant protects metal-eating plants
5. New discovery may help transplants survive
6. Genetic discovery could dramatically reduce need for liver transplants in children
7. Ants protect plants better when jacked up on nectar
8. Briggs takes to the molecular level Darwins findings on plants sensing the direction of light
9. Growing new breed of vaccine-producing plants to fight human diseases worldwide
10. Significant strides in small regulatory RNA research in plants
11. NASA data shows hurricanes help plants bloom in ocean deserts

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/16/2017)... N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, ... provider of online age and identity verification solutions, announced ... K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, ... Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- International research firm Parks Associates announced today that ... TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona ... market and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied ... the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ARCS® Foundation ... Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of ... Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding into ... a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services will ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: