Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Science & Environmental Policy
ubata grass (Cortaderia jubata) is a native plant to the Andean region of Chile. Commonly used as an ornamental plant in landscaping, this Chilean native has found its way to the United States. Jubata grass is now considered a highly invasive plant, especially along the Big Sur coast where it has become very well established. Fifty-one Jubata grass infestations have been mapped by U.S. Forest Service employees and CSU, Monterey Bay students within the Big Sur Weed Management Area. The approximate total area within the management area is 322,300 acres and the fifty-one Jubata grass infestations total approximately 1,050 acres or about 0.33% of the total management area. Each of the fifty-one infestations was mapped with the following autecology information documented: terrain and slope, soil type, density of the weed stand, associated plant species, and canopy cover of associated species. Soil type classifications were done according to the Soil Survey of Monterey County, California, U.S Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, (1978). Perhaps the most important finding of this mapping was that 46 of 51 (90%) Jubata grass infestations occur in one soil type, Rock Outcrop-Xerorthents Association (Rc). Of the remaining five sites, two infestations (4%) occur in soil type Xerorthents dissected (Xd), two others (4%) in soil type Lockwood shaly loam (LeC), and one other (2%) infestation in soil type Gamboa-Sur complex (Ga). Also, canopy cover of associated species at 48 of the 51 infestations (94%) was found to be 0% coverage (not present). At the remaining three infestations (6%) the canopy cover was 1-5% coverage. The soil type and canopy cover of associated species data yields a conclusion that Jubata grass infestations occur in a very particular environment along the Big Sur coast. The ideal condition for Jubata grass infestation is an Rc soil type with little or no canopy cover from associated species and an aspect ranging from Southern facing to Western facing. This type of information aids in understanding the nature of invasive weed invasions when selecting management strategies and develop a predictive understanding used in prevention measures.
Heacock, Ryan, "The use of geographic information systems in understanding jubata grass infestations along the Big Sur coast" (1999). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 156.