Session

session4

Location

Space Dynamics Laboratory, Auditorium Rm A

Start Date

5-9-2022 11:10 AM

End Date

5-9-2022 11:20 AM

Description

Invasive annual grasses are a nuisance in the American Southwest through promotion of the grass-fire cycle. Annual grasses such as Bromus rubens, Bromus tectorum, Schismus barbatus, and Schismus arabicus have invaded the Mojave Desert and increased fire occurrence, thus it is important to identify and characterize the areas where persistent invasion has occurred and subsequently fire risk is increased by understanding the distribution of these invasive grasses. Here we use a remote sensing framework to map persistent and productive populations of invasive annual grass, called hot spots, in the entire Mojave Desert ecoregion over 12 years, identify important variables for predicting hot spot distribution, and identify the most invaded subregions. Hot spots were identified in over 5% of the Mojave Desert, and invasive grasses were detected in over 90% of the desert at least once. Our results indicate that soil texture, aspect, winter precipitation, and elevation are the most important predictive variables of invasive grass hot spots, while anthropogenic variables were the least useful. The most invaded subregions of the Mojave Desert were western Mojave basins, eastern Mojave mountain woodland and shrubland, western Mojave low ranges and arid footslopes, eastern Mojave basins, and eastern Mojave low ranges and footslopes.

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May 9th, 11:10 AM May 9th, 11:20 AM

Biophysical Factors Control Invasive Grass Hot Spots in the Mojave Desert

Space Dynamics Laboratory, Auditorium Rm A

Invasive annual grasses are a nuisance in the American Southwest through promotion of the grass-fire cycle. Annual grasses such as Bromus rubens, Bromus tectorum, Schismus barbatus, and Schismus arabicus have invaded the Mojave Desert and increased fire occurrence, thus it is important to identify and characterize the areas where persistent invasion has occurred and subsequently fire risk is increased by understanding the distribution of these invasive grasses. Here we use a remote sensing framework to map persistent and productive populations of invasive annual grass, called hot spots, in the entire Mojave Desert ecoregion over 12 years, identify important variables for predicting hot spot distribution, and identify the most invaded subregions. Hot spots were identified in over 5% of the Mojave Desert, and invasive grasses were detected in over 90% of the desert at least once. Our results indicate that soil texture, aspect, winter precipitation, and elevation are the most important predictive variables of invasive grass hot spots, while anthropogenic variables were the least useful. The most invaded subregions of the Mojave Desert were western Mojave basins, eastern Mojave mountain woodland and shrubland, western Mojave low ranges and arid footslopes, eastern Mojave basins, and eastern Mojave low ranges and footslopes.