Land uses, fire, and invasion: Exotic annual Bromus and human dimensions – Chapter 11

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View Chapter 11 of the book, Exotic brome-grasses in arid and semiarid ecosystems of the western US: causes, consequences, and management implications.

Human land uses are the primary cause of the introduction and spread of exotic annual Bromus species. Initial introductions were likely linked to contaminated seeds used by homesteading farmers in the late 1880s and early 1900s. Transportation routes aided their spread. Unrestricted livestock grazing from the 1800s through the mid-1900s reduced native plant competitors leaving large areas vulnerable to Bromus dominance. Ecosystems with cooler and moister soils tend to have greater potential to recover from disturbances (resilience) and to be more resistant to Bromus invasion and dominance. Warmer and drier ecosystems are less resistant to Bromus and are threatened by altered fire regimes which can lead to Bromus dominance, impacts to wildlife, and alternative stable states.

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