A network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests.
PestNet is a network that helps people worldwide obtain rapid advice and information on crop protection, including the identification and management of plant pests. It started in 1999. Anyone with an interest in plant protection is welcome to join. PestNet is free and is moderated, ensuring that messages are confined to plant protection.
May 2009. A question about the potential environmental impact of Brachiaria decumbens in the Federated States of Micronesia, elicted much comment from members. There was also a similar question about Japanese millet, Echinochloa utilis.
Signal grass was hydroseeded for erosion mitigation along the Compact Road in Palau during and following construction, 2001 to 2007 or thereabouts. So far, there are no reports of it moving out of the seeded areas. However, there is evidence elsewhere, in savanan sites, where this grass is used for mulch, that it has potential to invade savanna and/or grassland areas. It is reportedly not shade tolerant, so is unlikely to invade forest.
Japanese millet, Echinochloa utilis, was also hydroseeded, germinated very rapidly and eventually died out.
A member from Brazil mentioned the usefulness of Brachiariabrizantha in coffee plantations (in the “Cerrado”), where it is used as a mulch to lower soil temperature, reduce evaporation and weed control – B ruziziensis and B decumbens are used for the same purpose (see photo). It is also used to protect the soil from high rainfall. The dry matter production is high with a good C/N ratio.
The grass is a very useful pasture species in some countries like Vanuatu and PNG. It only becomes prominent in disturbed areas and does not necessarily invades intact forest areas. It is a poor competitor under shady conditions.
Brachiaria decumbens Stapf is the synonym of Urochloa brizantha (C. Hochstetter ex A. Rich.) R. Webster (Integrated Taxonomic Information System) also refrred to as Urochloa decumbens (Stapf) R.D. Webster in literature.