Limiting Medusahead Invasion and Impacts in the Great Basin
Limiting the spread of invasive medusahead is critical, since this non-native plant decreases biodiversity, degrades wildlife habitat, reduces livestock forage, increases the risk of frequent wildfires, and changes how ecosystems function.
Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) is an exotic winter annual grass from Eurasia. It is critical to limit the spread of medusahead invasion because it decreases biodiversity, degrades wildlife habitat, reduces livestock forage, increases the risk of frequent wildfires, and changes how ecosystems function. This fact sheet provides managers with strategies to reduce the spread and impact of medusahead.
Medusahead invasions decrease biodiversity, degrade wildlife habitat, reduce livestock forage, increase the risk of frequent wildfires, and change how ecosystems function.
Seed dispersal occurs primarily via vehicles and animals.
Short-distance dispersal can be reduced by applying selective herbicides, and planting competitive vegetation (such as perennial grasses) around infestations.
Long-distance dispersal requires limiting contact with vectors, maintaining “weed-free” zones, and controlling livestock rotations in infested areas.
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This fact sheet is part of the Great Basin Fact Sheet Series compiled collaboratively by WAFWA, USFS, BLM, NRCS, RMRS, ARS, USGS, and FWS. The series provides land managers with brief summaries of current science concepts and management strategies related to conservation and restoration of the sagebrush sea.