Document Type



herbicide, mowing, prescribed fire, exotic grass, invasive, Brornus, Poa, Festuca, Phalaris, Agropyron, Setaria, Digitaria, Echinochloa, Agrostis, Phleum


Iowa's non-native graminoids include 60 species of grasses and one species of bulrush. The exotic grass species comprise a large proportion (about 31%) of the total species richness of grasses in Iowa, which are second only to the Asteraceae in terms of total species. About half of the non-native graminoids (52%) occur sporadically and form sparse, non-invasive populations, while eighteen species (about 30%) are commonly encountered in large populations throughout the state. About 60% are annuals and a large majority (89%) has been introduced from either Europe or Asia. The C3 photosynthetic pathway is prevalent, occurring in approximately two-thirds of the species. Grass species introduced for use as forage or grain account for over 40% of these non-native species. Among the nine species that are most ubiquitous throughout the state, six are forage or grain species. Although considered problematic in rural communities, many of these species provide valuable grassland habitat in some areas of the state. Biological data concerning growth, life history traits, and habitat affinities are provided for many of the most common species. A review of the literature related to the control of non-native grasses is also presented. In general, herbicides showed the greatest probability of reducing the occurrence of non-native grasses (effective 65% of the rime), prescribed fire worked 47% of the rime, and mowing was least effective, reportedly working 27% of the time.

Publication Date

December 2001

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science





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© Copyright 2001 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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