CAN WE SUSTAINABLY MANAGE MESQUITE, A FIRE-RESISTANT NATIVE INVASIVE SHRUB?

Author: 
Ansley, Jim
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2018
Description: 
Much of the Southern Great Plains (USA) grasslands have become dominated by native invasive woody plants such as honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) in the last 100 years.� Mesquite has increased due to enhanced seed distribution via livestock consumption and fecal deposition, reduced frequency and intensity of fire, and livestock overgrazing that has weakened grasses competing with emerging shrub seedlings. �This vegetation shift has become so pervasive that it threatens grass-dependent livestock production and grassland-dependent plant and wildlife species.� Concurrently, different wildlife species and different income sources such as recreational hunting for shrub-dependent wildlife have developed that further threaten the impetus for grassland restoration. This trajectory will continue without anthropogenic brush management intervention. Mesquite is difficult to control in part because it can resprout following treatments that only kill above ground tissue (i.e., top-kill), such as fire or mechanical shredding. Moreover, recent studies have shown that mesquite regrowth following top-kill is essentially independent of extreme drought. �Application of chemical spray treatments via aircraft offer the best potential regarding precision of application and effect, but costs are high relative to potential grazing income generated from these lands.� This paper will summarize these various concerns and point to possible management solutions that achieve agricultural production, recreation and ecological restoration goals.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

A collection of presentation titles and abstracts from the SRM Annual Meeting and Tradeshows