Thursday, December 30, 2021

Update on the rapid expansion of an invasive grass


Almost a year ago, I documented the rapid expansion of an invasive grass. I used Google Street View to show that a cluster of Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass) was expanding at more than 7 meters per year along the east-west gradient of a public roadway.  At the time, I also noted that one end of the dense stand of cogon grass had reached an optical cable marker. 

I visited the same spot again last week (approximately 9 months later) and discovered that the invasive had expanded even farther out, with the line petering out almost 6 meters west past the marker. This new measurement confirmed that the stand is moving at a relatively even pace of between 0.6 to 0.7 meters per month on one end.

I cannot imagine that such methodical and uniform growth can persist against the variety of other species and obstacles the cogongrass encounters, but I will be sure to visit this cluster again in a year or so to see whether I'm proven wrong.

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