BREAKING NEWS: There are trees in The Bahamas. One wouldn’t know from
reading this site, but thanks to John Rodgers for reminding me. This is a
straight forward paper on on the invasive Casuarina – easy to read the
whole thing. John gives us a summary after the jump. Thanks John!
Casuarinas (Casuarina equisetifolia) are a noxious invasive tree in the Bahamas. Even though researchers have associated casuarinas with a long list of environmental problems, including reducing biodiversity, interfering with sea turtle nesting, and possibly accelerating beach erosion, there is still little known about their population biology. A study on San Salvador Island monitored the x,y locations of casuarinas using a GPS and their associated heights at four beach study sites over a 2.5 year period (Jan 2007 – Jun 2009). The results show that casuarinas were significantly clustered into discrete patches and did not continuous spread across the beach. Further, gaps in between patches remained unoccupied during the study. No new casuarinas seedlings were encounter in these gaps. The results of the study suggest that a more fiscally-conservative containment management strategy (as opposed to wide-scale eradication) may be an effective tool for controlling future spread of this noxious invader.