Study

Effects of an invasive plant on a desert sand dune landscape

  • Published source details Barrows C.W., Allen E.B., Brooks M.L. & Allen M.F. (2009) Effects of an invasive plant on a desert sand dune landscape. Biological Invasions, 11, 673-686.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage vegetation by hand (selective weeding)

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Remove or control non-native/invasive plants

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Manage vegetation by hand (selective weeding)

    A replicated, paired sites, controlled, before-and-after study in 2002–2007 in a site of dunes and desert scrub in California, USA (Barrows et al. 2009) found that manual removal of invasive non-native Sahara mustard Brassica tournefortii resulted in an increase in Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard Uma inornata abundance compared to no weeding in one of three years in one of two habitat types, but flat-tailed horned lizard Phrynosoma mcallii abundance remained similar in all comparisons. In yearly comparisons, fringe-toed lizard abundance was higher in weeded plots in one of three years during or after weeding in active dunes (second year of weeding: 7 lizards/plot; not weeded: 4 lizards/plot; first & third years: 2–4 lizards/plot), but not in stabilized sand fields (weeded: 2 lizards/dune; not weeded: 1–3 lizards/dune).  Overall abundance of fringe-toed lizards was higher in weeded plots (3 lizards/plot) compared to plots with no weeding (2 lizards/plot), but flat-tailed horned lizard abundance was similar in both (weeded: 0.1 lizards/plot; not weeded: 0.1 lizards/plot). Paired plots (10 x 100 m plots) of mustard removal and no mustard removal were established in stabilised sand fields (15 removal plots, 15 no removal plots) and active dunes (6 removal plots, 6 no removal plots). Mustard removal was carried out by hand in 2005–2006. Reptiles were surveyed at each site six times/year from May to July 2002–2007 in the morning using sightings and tracks left in the sand.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson)

  2. Remove or control non-native/invasive plants

    A replicated, paired sites, controlled, before-and-after study in 2002–2007 in a site of dunes and desert scrub in California, USA (Barrows et al. 2009) found that manual removal of invasive non-native Sahara mustard Brassica tournefortii resulted in an increase in Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard Uma inornata abundance but not flat-tailed horned lizard Phrynosoma mcallii abundance. Overall abundance of fringe-toed lizards was higher in invasive removal plots (2.5 lizards/plot) compared to plots with no removal (1.6 lizards/plot), but flat-tailed horned lizard abundance was similar in both (removal: 0.1 lizards/plot; no removal: 0.1 lizards/plot). In yearly comparisons, fringe-toed lizard abundance was higher in removal plots in one of three years during or after removal in active dunes (2nd year of removal: 6.6 lizards/plot; no removal: 3.5 lizards/plot), but not in stabilized sand fields (removal: 1.9–2.3 lizards/dune; no removal: 1.2–2.5 lizards/dune).  Paired plots (10 x 100 m plots) of mustard removal and no mustard removal were established in stabilised sand fields (15 removal plots, 15 no removal plots) and active dunes (6 removal plots, 6 no removal plots). Mustard removal was carried out by hand in 2005–2006. Reptiles were surveyed at each site six times/year from May to July 2002–2007 in the morning using sightings and tracks left in the sand. 

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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