Classification of Prosopis juliflora invasion in the Lake Baringo basin and environmental correlations.
The spread of Prosopis juliflora in the Baringo basin, Kenya, has led to severe changes in the ecosystem with negative socio-economic impacts. The drivers that foster the invasiveness of Prosopis are not fully understood. Thus, a method to quantify the degree of infestation will support the determination of environmental preferences and the risk assessment of future Prosopis invasion. We developed a methodology for characterising and classifying degrees of Prosopis infestation in vegetation stands and propose its application in environmental correlation models. The relative cover was identified as the most suited attribute for assessing and monitoring the invasion of Prosopis. The distance of invaded stands from original plantations and environmental attributes related to water availability (ground water table, rainfall and soil water - holding capacity) have potential to predict potential or future invasion risks.