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Effects of mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion L.Schult.) invasion on fuel loads and nitrogen availability in a northern Australia tropical savanna

Douglas, Michael M., Setterfield, Samantha A., Rossiter-Rachor, Natalie A., Barratt, Jane L. and Hutley, Lindsay B. (2004). Effects of mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion L.Schult.) invasion on fuel loads and nitrogen availability in a northern Australia tropical savanna. In: Sindel, B.M. and Johnson, S.B. 14th Australian Weeds Conference, Wagga Wagga, NSW, 6-9 September 2004.

Document type: Conference Paper
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Author Douglas, Michael M.
Setterfield, Samantha A.
Rossiter-Rachor, Natalie A.
Barratt, Jane L.
Hutley, Lindsay B.
Title Effects of mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion L.Schult.) invasion on fuel loads and nitrogen availability in a northern Australia tropical savanna
Conference Name 14th Australian Weeds Conference
Conference Location Wagga Wagga, NSW
Conference Dates 6-9 September 2004
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the 14th Australian Weeds Conference : Weed Management - balancing people, planet, profit
Editor Sindel, B.M.
Johnson, S.B.
Place of Publication Sydney, NSW
Publisher Weed Society of New South Wales
Publication Year 2004
ISBN 0-9752488-1-2   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 179
End Page 181
Total Pages 3
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult. ( mission grass) is an introduced African grass that is now widespread in the tropical savannas of Australia’s ‘Top End’. To date, the impact of mission grass invasion on the ecosystem function of tropical savannas
is unknown. This study presents preliminary results from an investigation into its effects on fire properties and fuel loads. Data from three sites in Litchfield National Park show that mission grass invasion results in fuel loads five times larger than in uninvaded sites. The grass remains erect during the dry season, resulting in a large fuel load that can carry flames canopies of savanna trees. In addition, data show that nitrate availability was 10% lower under mission grass compared with native grasses. This suggests that mission grass may alter the nitrogen cycling in savanna following invasion.
Keyword Pennisetum polystachion
Biological invasion
Ecosystem processes
Fire
Nitrogen cycling
Description for Link Link to conference paper
URL http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2005/20053008405.pdf
 
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