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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Spatial Analysis of the Interaction Between Saguaros and Buffelgrass Becky MacEwen Saguaro National Park NPS RIM GIS Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Spatial Analysis of the Interaction Between Saguaros and Buffelgrass Becky MacEwen Saguaro National Park NPS RIM GIS Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Spatial Analysis of the Interaction Between Saguaros and Buffelgrass Becky MacEwen Saguaro National Park NPS RIM GIS Specialist Tucson, AZ April 2010

2 Saguaro National Park Where is it? Why was it created? TUCSON

3 The Good What is the scientific name for Saguaro? Carnegiea gigantea Found only in Sonoran Desert Limited by temperature and elevation Long-lived and slow- growing Saguaro

4 1-1.5 in first 8-10 years arms in years – If at all, up to 50 flowers around 55 years – 8 feet tall average life span – maybe 200+ years 50 feet (12 meters) – Up to 24 meters Mature weigh 6+ tons

5 What are its major threats? – Disease – Climate – Urbanization – Exotic plants

6 The Bad What is the scientific name for Buffelgrass? Pennisetum ciliare Non-native originally from Africa Limited by temperature and elevation – New frost-tolerant variant Short-lived and fast-growing

7 Rate of spread – Doubling in 10 years

8 Grows well on steep slopes, even south-facing Photos: USGS Desert Lab

9 2000ac mapped and/or treated

10 The Ugly

11

12

13 East Valley Tribune Photo

14 Saguaro Census 64 Saguaro Plots – 11 were mapped in 1975 – Some have been monitored since / /2010 RMD 41A B C D F M TOTAL TMD 71G H J K L TOTAL

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16 Historic Saguaro Plots

17 TMD Plots

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19 RMD Plots

20 Buffelgrass mapped on 41C

21 1936

22 1974

23 2007

24 Challenges Not finding buffelgrass on mapped plots Historic air photos not good enough resolution to show buffelgrass or saguaros How do I show the spatial interaction?

25 ANY QUESTIONS/COMMENTS?


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