Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Buffelgrass invasion will cause more geologic hazards

UA researchers are finding more buffelgrass and at higher elevations in the Santa Catalinas than expected. Because this invasive species pushes out native plants with deeper roots and is much more prone to fire (11 months of the year in this area), brush fires will be more likely to travel from the base of the mountains to the tops throughout the year. Ann Youberg, a geologist at AZGS, warns that, as a result, we can expect to see huge geomorphic changes from post-fire erosion. This could mean more debris flows and over a larger area than before.

Aaryn Olsson, a Research Specialist at the Arizona Remote Sensing Center at UA, is seeking historical photos of the Catalinas to compare them with the current distribution to track the spread of buffelgrass and other invasive species. Forward your photos, with the date they were taken, to Aaryn Olsson,, or 1955 E. 6th St, Rm205, Tucson AZ 85719.

Aaryn's posted some of his photos at, including the one at right of Sabino Canyon in the Catalinas.

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