PS 46-189 - Ecological restoration of abandoned buffelgrass pastures in Central Sonora, Mexico

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Exhibit Hall, Oregon Convention Center
Rosangélica Rosas-Becerra, Departamento de Ecología, Universidad Estatal de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, Ortega-Rosas Carmen, Departamento de ecología, Universidad estatal de sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico, Francisco Molina-Freaner, Departamento de Ecología de la Biodiversidad, Estación Regional del Noroeste, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Hermosillo, Mexico and Daniel Morales-Romero, Departamento de Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad Estatal de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico

Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) have been planted in large areas in northwestern Mexico for cattle grazing. Previous studies have documented how buffelgrass pasture conversion affects several ecological processes causing high levels of desertification and the subsequent abandonment of lands; however, no previous study has documented techniques to restore these habitats. In this poster, we document activities that have been focused on the restoration of these areas using native species. We selected an abandoned buffelgrass pasture considered unproductive by local ranchers in central Sonora. We set up an experiments to evaluate the germination and seed removal of three leguminous native species (Prosopis juliflora, Parkinsonia microphylla and P. florida). Also, we evaluate if seedling establishment occurs in the area.


Our results indicate that P. microphylla showed greater emergence than the other species despite the high seed removal in the site. Also, P. microphylla was the species with the highest survival. Thus our results show that ecological restoration with native species is possible in desertified buffelgrass pastures. Considering the ecological benefits of P. microphylla in the Sonoran Desert (i.e. nurse plant, positive associations, nitrogen fixer), this native plant could be highly valuable in the restoration procedures.