Biological Invasions

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 435–442 | Cite as

Invasion success of cogongrass, an alien C4 perennial grass, in the southeastern United States: exploration of the ecological basis

Original Paper

Abstract

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is considered one of the worst invasive species in the world. The species is readily adaptable to a wide range of environmental conditions and upon invasion reduces forest productivity, alters nutrient cycling, and threatens native species biodiversity. This paper explores seven major ecological hypotheses (Propagule Pressure Hypothesis, Natural Enemies or Enemy Release Hypothesis, Empty Niche Hypothesis, Invasional Meltdown Hypothesis, Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability Hypothesis/Superior Competitor Hypothesis, Novel Weapons Hypothesis, and Diversity—Invasibility (Elton’s) Hypothesis) that explain the invasiveness of cogongrass in the southeastern United States. Information gathered from this review can be used to reduce the spread of cogongrass and is applicable for control of other invasive species as well.

Keywords

Imperata cylindrica Cogongrass Biological diversity Invasive theory 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ForestrySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Agroforestry, School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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