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Germination and seedling establishment of two native and one invading African grass species in the Brazilian cerrado

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2009

Carlos Augusto Klink
Affiliation:
Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Abstract

Introduced either accidentally or purposefully for the creation of cultivated pastures, African grasses are becoming major invaders of ecological reserves and national parks of the Brazilian savannas, the cerrado. African grasses are particularly good colonizers of disturbed sites. Germination in the field and laboratory, and seedling establishment in the field were studied for the African species Andropogon gayanus Kunth var. bisquamulatus (Hochst.) Hack., and for the native species Echinolaena infltxa (Poiret) Chase and Schizachyrium tenerum Nees. The African species had a higher and faster germination rate than the two native species, but its seedling mortality was higher. The main cause of seedling mortality in the field was herbivory by ants. It is suggested that the invasion of cerrado by African grasses depends on the kind of management being practised.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

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References

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