Influencing factors on vegetative cogongrass spread into pine forests on the Mississippi gulf coastThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Cogongrass [Imperata cylindrical (L.) Beauv.] is an invasive species that is spreading throughout forested ecosystems across the Southeastern United States. A field experiment was conducted in Hancock County, MS to determine if mid-rotation mechanical disturbance increased the rate of growth and spread of roadside cogongrass patches into adjacent forest stands. Logging disturbance was replicated on 18 treatment sites using a 65 horsepower New Holland tractor and a box blade. The distance of linear spread and tiller growth into adjacent forest stands was measured during and after the growing season following disturbance. Comparisons were made between disturbed and undisturbed sites. Cogongrass exhibited significantly higher rates of spread in disturbed sites versus undisturbed sites and rhizome biomass was strongly related to this process.