- Author: Travis M Bean
New research published in PNAS (Fusco et al 2019) highlights the role of invasive grasses in creating new wildfire regimes at not just local but regional scales. Weed scientists are familiar with the concept of the grass-fire cycle (D'Antonio and Vitousek 1992): exotic grass invasions promote hotter or more frequent fires, which in turn facilitates more extensive grass invasion, causing more fires, etc. Perhaps now is the right time to better educate non-scientists about this critical concept as wildfires take up more of the public's...
- Author: Rebecca Ozeran
Many factors make weed management on federal public lands an interesting challenge.
In September I was invited to join one of the Sierra National Forest Rangeland Management Specialists to explore a medusahead infestation in one of the grazing allotments she manages. The infested meadow used to be a homestead, though the only obvious reminder is the cluster of still-productive apple trees in the middle of an otherwise grass-dominated site. Pines and other conifers border the meadow, and a forest road divides the meadow into two parts. The portion uphill of the road is steeper and has more trees interspersed with the herbaceous vegetation, while the downhill portion is a more expansive, gentler sloping meadow. Due to the...
From the ANR News Blog on Sept. 19, 2019
The USDA has announced it will allow the release of a weevil (Ceratapion basicorne) in the United States to help control yellow starthistle, an invasive weed found in 40 of the lower 48 states, reported Capital Public Radio. The weevils will initially be released in California.
Ceratapion basicorne is native to Eurasia, the same area where yellow starthistle originated. Yellow starthistle is thought to have been introduced into California from Chile during the Gold Rush. The weed readily took hold in California...
- Author: Rebecca Ozeran
Thanks to the recent hot weather (already surpassing 90 degrees several days in a row), we are starting to see the lush green hills near Fresno transition into gold. The much-needed rain we received this spring could unfortunately create a problem in the coming summer: thick forage growth can quickly turn into fuel for fire season.
So, what does this have to do with weed management?
Before wildfire, weeds can be fuel;after wildfire, weeds can spread.
The main fuels in the valley and foothills are typically grasses. Even non-weedy grass species can be an issue if grazing livestock (and hardworking landscapers) can't keep up with grass growth before summer. Annual grasses are great...
- Author: Chris McDonald
With the rainfall we've been having every month in Southern California, there are a lot of weeds out there. For those who work in wildland management where rain is the only source of irrigation, in Southern California the growing season started in October. With the continued rains in November, December and January our hills and valleys are green with a bouquet of weeds. Last year the season began in mid-January.
As I write this, there are grasses and mustards that are in well into flower and immature fruits are starting to appear on these...