Nevada’s Biggest Little Invasive: Cheatgrass

Cheatgrass is an invasive plant wreaking havoc on ecosystems and increasing the risk and intensity of wildfires in Nevada.

But just what makes such a small grass such a big problem? Cheatgrass harms our ecosystems and is incredibly difficult to remove, says plant ecologist Dr. Hall Cushman, of the University of Nevada, Reno.

“Cheatgrass invades, increases the intensity and frequency of fires, and then causes more cheatgrass to dominate the system,” says Cushman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC9n8H9t-Qw
By Scott King

The plant produces massive amounts of tiny seeds that disperse across the landscape; these seeds thrive in disturbed spaces like near roadways or in burned landscapes. This proliferation of cheatgrass creates a grass-fire cycle that results in hotter fires, which lead to perfect conditions for growing more cheatgrass, Cushman explains.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Related articles

Researchers wearing all-white protective gear pose on a green hillside in Sierra Leone.

The Virus Hunters: Finding animal diseases before they infect humans

More than 60 percent human viruses originally come from animals.

For the past decade, these researchers around the globe have been working to identify risky viruses before they infect humans.

The team found a new Ebola virus in bats in Sierra Leone, and has worked with various communities to reduce exposure.