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Acta Botanica Brasilica

Print version ISSN 0102-3306On-line version ISSN 1677-941X

Abstract

MARTINS, Carlos Romero; HAY, John Du Vall; SCALEA, Marcio  and  MALAQUIAS, Juaci Vitória. Management techniques for the control of Melinis minutiflora P. Beauv. (molasses grass): ten years of research on an invasive grass species in the Brazilian Cerrado. Acta Bot. Bras. [online]. 2017, vol.31, n.4, pp.546-554.  Epub Sep 21, 2017. ISSN 0102-3306.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-33062016abb0433.

The invasion of exotic species is considered to be a major threat to the preservation of biodiversity. In the Parque Nacional de Brasília (National Park of Brasília), the invasive Melinis minutiflora (molasses grass) occupies more than 10 % of the area of the park. The present, long-term, study compared two treatments of exposure to molasses grass: 1) fire and 2) integrated management (fire + herbicide sprays + manual removal). The aerial biomass of molasses grass in the experimental area initially represented ca. 55 % of the total aerial biomass, a percentage that apparently did not influence native plant species richness at this site. Fire alone was not sufficient to control molasses grass, which attained its pre-treatment biomass values after two years. Integrated management reduced, and maintained, biomass to less than 1 % of its original value after ten years, and maintained this level throughout the study, demonstrating that it is a promising strategy for the recovery of areas invaded by molasses grass in the Cerrado. However, because of the recolonization by molasses grass, long-term monitoring efforts are targeting outbreaks, which would require immediate intervention in order to maintain the native biological diversity of the region.

Keywords : fire; glyphosate; ground layer biomass and species richness; protected areas; recolonization.

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