The distribution and invasive potential of fountain grass pennisetum setaceum in Namibia.
Joubert, David F.
Cunningham, Peter L.
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Pennisetum sataceum is an exotic alien grass species from North Africa which invasive potential in Namibia. The distribution and invasive potential of this species was investigated. The current distribution of this species was compared with the reported distribution in the mid 1980s. It has increased its range in Namibia dramatically since then and is now found in a number of locations throughout Namibia, albeit mostly on road verges and other distributed areas predominantly in the Highland Savanna and Mountain Savanna biomes. It's popularity as an ornamental grass, particularly amongst farmers, is responsible for it's introduction and spread. Observations on a dense stand of P. setaceum west of Windhoek indicate this species preference for road verges and schist cuttings in association with relatively mesophytic grasses such as heteropogon contortus, Cenchrus ciliaris and panicum maximum. Its ability to form a major component of the vegetation of each of these habitats suggests that it has a broader tolerance range than the associate indigenous grasses. A range of control measures is suggested to prevent the species spreading further whilst it is still feasible.
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