The University of Arizona

Climatic effects on buffelgrass productivity in the Sonoran Desert.

M.H. Martin, J.R. Cox, F. Ibarra-F


Buffelgrass (Cenchrus cilaris L.), a perennial bunchgrass from northcentral Kenya has been successfully seeded on 400,000 ha in northwest Mexico. To determine if carrying capacity increased after buffelgrass introduction we measured live, recent-dead standing, old-dead standing and litter at 2-week intervals for three years. Live biomass was produced throughout the year but peak production, over the 3 years was in August. Peak live biomass production varied from 46S kg/ha in a summer of below-average precipitation to 3,045 kg/ha in a summer of above-average precipitation. Recent- and old-dead standing quantities were highly variable among years and transfers among components were dependent on temperature and precipitation. Buffelgrass annually produces about 3 times more green forage than native grasses.


plant introduction;arid zones;dry matter accumulation;Mexico;rain;biomass production;Cenchrus ciliaris;plant litter

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