Exotic grass invasions

Applying a conceptual framework to the dynamics of degradation and restoration in Australia's tropical savannas

Kristine J. Brooks, Samantha A. Setterfield, Michael M. Douglas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Plant invasions can cause severe degradation of natural areas. The ability of an ecosystem to recover autogenically from degradation following weed control is in part determined by the type and magnitude of changes to both biotic and abiotic processes caused by the invasion and how these interact with structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Recently, a number of conceptual frameworks have been proposed to describe the dynamics of degradation and regeneration in degraded ecosystems. We assessed the utility of one of these frameworks in describing the degradation and restoration potential of Australia's tropical savannas following exotic grass invasion. First, we identified easily measured structural characteristics of putative states. We found that a continuous cover of the exotic grasses Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus Kunth.) and Perennial mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.) under an intact tree canopy was a common state with an understorey characterized by reduced species richness and abundance and a change in the relative contribution of functional groups. Further degradation led to a state where the canopy was severely reduced and the impacts on the understorey were more severe. In both states, the seed bank was substantially less degraded than the understorey vegetation. Guided by the framework, we combined our study with other studies to construct a conceptual model for degradation in exotic grass-invaded savannas. © 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)188-197
    Number of pages10
    JournalRestoration Ecology
    Volume18
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

    Fingerprint

    conceptual framework
    savanna
    savannas
    grass
    grasses
    degradation
    understory
    ecosystem
    Pennisetum polystachion
    canopy
    ecosystems
    Andropogon gayanus
    weed control
    seed bank
    ecological restoration
    functional group
    regeneration
    species richness
    restoration
    vegetation

    Cite this

    Brooks, Kristine J. ; Setterfield, Samantha A. ; Douglas, Michael M. / Exotic grass invasions : Applying a conceptual framework to the dynamics of degradation and restoration in Australia's tropical savannas. In: Restoration Ecology. 2010 ; Vol. 18, No. 2. pp. 188-197.
    @article{38366c63750848a482d9b5dd7aa2e2ca,
    title = "Exotic grass invasions: Applying a conceptual framework to the dynamics of degradation and restoration in Australia's tropical savannas",
    abstract = "Plant invasions can cause severe degradation of natural areas. The ability of an ecosystem to recover autogenically from degradation following weed control is in part determined by the type and magnitude of changes to both biotic and abiotic processes caused by the invasion and how these interact with structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Recently, a number of conceptual frameworks have been proposed to describe the dynamics of degradation and regeneration in degraded ecosystems. We assessed the utility of one of these frameworks in describing the degradation and restoration potential of Australia's tropical savannas following exotic grass invasion. First, we identified easily measured structural characteristics of putative states. We found that a continuous cover of the exotic grasses Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus Kunth.) and Perennial mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.) under an intact tree canopy was a common state with an understorey characterized by reduced species richness and abundance and a change in the relative contribution of functional groups. Further degradation led to a state where the canopy was severely reduced and the impacts on the understorey were more severe. In both states, the seed bank was substantially less degraded than the understorey vegetation. Guided by the framework, we combined our study with other studies to construct a conceptual model for degradation in exotic grass-invaded savannas. {\circledC} 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.",
    keywords = "abundance, biological invasion, ecosystem management, environmental degradation, forest ecosystem, grass, restoration ecology, savanna, species richness, threshold, weed control, Andropogon, Andropogon gayanus, Pennisetum glaucum, Pennisetum polystachion, Pennisetum polystachyon, Poaceae",
    author = "Brooks, {Kristine J.} and Setterfield, {Samantha A.} and Douglas, {Michael M.}",
    year = "2010",
    month = "3",
    doi = "10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00470.x",
    language = "English",
    volume = "18",
    pages = "188--197",
    journal = "Restoration Ecology",
    issn = "1061-2971",
    publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
    number = "2",

    }

    Exotic grass invasions : Applying a conceptual framework to the dynamics of degradation and restoration in Australia's tropical savannas. / Brooks, Kristine J.; Setterfield, Samantha A.; Douglas, Michael M.

    In: Restoration Ecology, Vol. 18, No. 2, 03.2010, p. 188-197.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Exotic grass invasions

    T2 - Applying a conceptual framework to the dynamics of degradation and restoration in Australia's tropical savannas

    AU - Brooks, Kristine J.

    AU - Setterfield, Samantha A.

    AU - Douglas, Michael M.

    PY - 2010/3

    Y1 - 2010/3

    N2 - Plant invasions can cause severe degradation of natural areas. The ability of an ecosystem to recover autogenically from degradation following weed control is in part determined by the type and magnitude of changes to both biotic and abiotic processes caused by the invasion and how these interact with structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Recently, a number of conceptual frameworks have been proposed to describe the dynamics of degradation and regeneration in degraded ecosystems. We assessed the utility of one of these frameworks in describing the degradation and restoration potential of Australia's tropical savannas following exotic grass invasion. First, we identified easily measured structural characteristics of putative states. We found that a continuous cover of the exotic grasses Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus Kunth.) and Perennial mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.) under an intact tree canopy was a common state with an understorey characterized by reduced species richness and abundance and a change in the relative contribution of functional groups. Further degradation led to a state where the canopy was severely reduced and the impacts on the understorey were more severe. In both states, the seed bank was substantially less degraded than the understorey vegetation. Guided by the framework, we combined our study with other studies to construct a conceptual model for degradation in exotic grass-invaded savannas. © 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

    AB - Plant invasions can cause severe degradation of natural areas. The ability of an ecosystem to recover autogenically from degradation following weed control is in part determined by the type and magnitude of changes to both biotic and abiotic processes caused by the invasion and how these interact with structural and functional components of the ecosystem. Recently, a number of conceptual frameworks have been proposed to describe the dynamics of degradation and regeneration in degraded ecosystems. We assessed the utility of one of these frameworks in describing the degradation and restoration potential of Australia's tropical savannas following exotic grass invasion. First, we identified easily measured structural characteristics of putative states. We found that a continuous cover of the exotic grasses Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus Kunth.) and Perennial mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.) under an intact tree canopy was a common state with an understorey characterized by reduced species richness and abundance and a change in the relative contribution of functional groups. Further degradation led to a state where the canopy was severely reduced and the impacts on the understorey were more severe. In both states, the seed bank was substantially less degraded than the understorey vegetation. Guided by the framework, we combined our study with other studies to construct a conceptual model for degradation in exotic grass-invaded savannas. © 2008 Society for Ecological Restoration International.

    KW - abundance

    KW - biological invasion

    KW - ecosystem management

    KW - environmental degradation

    KW - forest ecosystem

    KW - grass

    KW - restoration ecology

    KW - savanna

    KW - species richness

    KW - threshold

    KW - weed control

    KW - Andropogon

    KW - Andropogon gayanus

    KW - Pennisetum glaucum

    KW - Pennisetum polystachion

    KW - Pennisetum polystachyon

    KW - Poaceae

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77954380669&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00470.x

    DO - 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2008.00470.x

    M3 - Article

    VL - 18

    SP - 188

    EP - 197

    JO - Restoration Ecology

    JF - Restoration Ecology

    SN - 1061-2971

    IS - 2

    ER -