Chapter

Invasion of Franciscan Annuals, Grazing, and California Pasture in the Nineteenth Century

Richard A. Minnich

in California's Fading Wildflowers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780520253537
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934337 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520253537.003.0003
Invasion of Franciscan Annuals, Grazing, and California Pasture in the Nineteenth Century

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The deliberate introduction of European annual glasses and forbs by the Franciscan missionaries began a transformation of the California herbaceous flora, which is an ongoing process. In explaining the transformation to modern exotic annual grassland, the scientific community is still at the first step: detailing the history of invasions and associated change in California pastures. Conceptual models on the history of California pasture are frustrated by the sparse written record from the Spanish and Mexican periods. Because the early expansion of exotic species coincided with the introduction of livestock, whose collective numbers increased to millions of animals by the nineteenth century, ecologists have also addressed the role of grazing in the early expansion of European invasives.

Keywords: European annual grasses; California herbaceous flora; California pasture; exotic species

Chapter.  47634 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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