Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Persistent atrazine toxicity in the Mohave desert shrub communities.

Abstract

Atrazine granules at 11.2 kg/ha were applied in 1967 and 1968 to three areas of northern Mohave desert to destroy perennial shrub cover. Eight years later glasshouse tests of seedling survival on soil samples from the treated area showed 65 to 95% mortality, as compared with 3 to 8% mortality on control soils. Possible reasons for this exceptional persistence are discussed. Of 23 perennial shrub species, 12 were completely eliminated and 2, Yucca schidigera and Hilaria rigida, were unaffected. Some species survived through crown sprouting. By 1975 scattered plants of Atriplex confertifolia, Lepidium fremontii and Salsola paulsenii had become established on mounds of fertile soil under the killed shrubs.