Corvallis, Ore. (UPI) Nov 11, 2010
An invasive species of "devil" weed in range lands in the western United States could make millions of acres of grazing land worthless, researchers say.
Researchers at Oregon State University say the weed knows as medusahead has growth advantages over most other grass species that could allow it to continue to spread across much of the West and disrupt native ecosystems, a university release said Thursday.
Their study comparing the "relative growth rate" of this invasive annual grass to that of other competing species in natural field conditions found that medusahead has a faster growth rate, a longer period of growth and produced more total biomass than any native grasses.
"Medusahead is now spreading at about 12 percent a year over 17 western states," Seema Mangla, a researcher in the OSU College of Forestry, said. "Once established, it's very hard to get rid of.
"It displaces native grasses and even other invasive species that animals can still eat," she said.
"This is a devil species," she said.
Native to the Mediterranean region, medusahead was imported to the United States in the late 1880s.
The sharp and twisting points on the tips of medusahead can injure animals and give the plant its name, based on the female monster in Greek mythology who had hair composed of writhing snakes.
The plant takes up other soil resources and its deep root system soaks up limited moisture. It creates fuel for wildfires, is virtually inedible and prevents many other plants from germinating, researchers say.
Experts at the Oregon Department of Agriculture say once land is invaded by medusahead, it becomes largely worthless, incapable of supporting native animals, birds or livestock.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Hanoi, Vietnam (UPI) Nov 10, 2010
A $600 million global scheme to boost rice yields was announced in Hanoi Wednesday. Launched by the International Rice Research Institute and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Global Rice Science Partnership is expected to lift 150 million people out of poverty by 2035 and prevent the emission of greenhouse gases by an amount equal to 1 billion tons of c ... read more
Go For Getz And A South Pole Flyover|
NASA Study Quantifies Role Of Melt In Loss Of Old Arctic Sea Ice
FCC investigating Google 'Street View' data harvest
Nicaragua, Costa Rica tense over map 'war'
Lockheed Martin Delivers Key GPS III Test Hardware Ahead of Schedule
Few Americans using location-based services: Pew study
GPS maker Garmin hanging up on smartphones
Savi Challenges You To Imagine The Best Wireless Applications
New Discoveries Concerning Pre-Columbian Settlements In The Amazon
Brazil mulls land auction to beat logging
Footage shows land clearing threatens Indonesia tigers: WWF
Litter collected, trees planted for global climate campaign
Study: Biofuel not the answer for EU
OriginOil Achieves Hydrogen Production Comparable To Photovoltaics
Growing Sorghum For Biofuel
Pennycress Could Go From Nuisance Weed To New Source Of Biofuel
Johnson Controls To Install PV Arrays At 73 Utah Schools
Skyline Solar Awarded Two Additional Green Patents From The USPTO
RICOH USA Goes Solar
iSuppli Boosts 2010 Solar Installation Forecast
Global Warming Reduces Available Wind Energy
South Korea plans offshore wind project
Buoyant Times Ahead For Offshore Resource Assessments
Suzlon eyes China's wind power market
Twelve killed in China coal mine flood: state media
Colombia coal mining gets a timely boost
China mines to beef up safety after Chile rescue: official
China mine death toll hits 31 as anger rises over rescue
Chinese vase sells for record 43 million pounds in Britain
Pet boom has Shanghai mulling one-dog policy
British PM, in China, urges G20 cooperation, more freedoms
Lawyer linked to Nobel winner says barred from leaving China
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|