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Revista mexicana de ciencias pecuarias

versión On-line ISSN 2448-6698versión impresa ISSN 2007-1124

Resumen

MELGOZA CASTILLO, Alicia; BALANDRAN VALLADARES, Martha Irma; MATA-GONZALEZ, Ricardo  y  PINEDO ALVAREZ, Carmelo. Biology of natal grass Melinis repens (Willd.) and implications for its use or control: Review. Rev. mex. de cienc. pecuarias [online]. 2014, vol.5, n.4, pp.429-442. ISSN 2448-6698.

Natal grass (Melinis repens) is an introduced specie from Africa that is invading different ecosystems. In Mexico, it is present all over the country and dominates large areas of grasslands. Plant invasion reduces quality and quantity of ecosystem goods and services. The knowledge of the biology of invasive species is a key factor when a management and control plan will be established. It is unknown when this specie arrived to America. Depending on climatic conditions this grass may behave as annual or perennial. Seed production is larger in years with precipitation below normal than in wet years. Germination takes place with or without light, optimum temperature is from 20 to 35 °C; at -0.2 MPa germination is inhibited, and fire does not affect seed germination. When moisture is not limited and during the early development, root:shoot ratios ranges from 1.13 to 1.90 and relative growth rate from 0.0034 to 0.15 mg g-1 d-1; also, biomass is reduced when natal grass grows on native soil compared to sterilized soil. Although it is considered as poor forage, the main use is as pasture. Other uses reported include ornamental, medicinal, and fito-remediation. Fire favors its growth, and no control method is known. So far, grazing of natal grass is the most viable management. Additionally, when planning a control campaign it is important to reduce the movement of this specie as part of human activities.

Palabras llave : Plant invasion; Grasslands; Natal grass.

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