Brachypodium Control - Phase I and II

This project used a science-based, experimental approach to develop treatment and restoration strategies for the emerging invasive grass, Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium), on conserved lands in southern San Diego County, CA. Phase I (2013-2015) included conceptual models to inform experimentally-based treatment and restoration strategies; experimental treatments (dethatching, herbicide, mechanical removal), monitoring, and seed collection, bulking, and outplanting. Treatments continued in Phase II (2016-2017), using the most effective management strategy (herbicide). See the Phase I and II reports for study results and Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Brachypodium control. Herbicide is the most effective treatment for controlling Brachypodium but timing of treatment is critical and multiple treatments may be required in a single year, depending on rainfall and temperature. Herbicide treatment of forbs becomes increasingly important as cover of Brachypodium and other nonnative grasses decrease. Dethatching improves treatment effectiveness and stimulates the soil seedbank (if present). The experimental design was coordinated with SDMMP and the City of San Diego, and results may contribute to a regional analysis of Brachypodium control across multiple sites, habitats, and microclimates.

General Management
Threats and Stressors
September 1, 2013
September 1, 2017
Project Focus

Dehesa nolina, false brome, San Diego thorn-mint, Variegated dudleya

coastal sage scrub, grassland

Patricia Gordon-Reedy

Conservation Biology Institute

Sarah McCutcheon

Annabelle Bernabe

Patricia Gordon-Reedy

Project Protocol
Modified Habitat Assessments (The Nature Conservancy/Conservation Biology Institute)

The project used a habitat assessment protocol to delineate Brachypodium-infested habitat. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) developed the protocol; TNC and CBI modified the protocol for use in the South County grasslands project. The habitat assessment protocol collects qualitative information on biotic, abiotic, and management variables to determine both ecological suitability an management feasibility for restoration purposes.

Strategic Elements
  • pre FY15-1 - 2.7
Project Location
San Diego
Central-central, South-central

Invasive plants

Goal: The overarching goals for addressing invasive plant species in the MSPA are to: (1) Protect Conserved Lands from new or expanding invasive plant species; (2) Detect new invasive species and new invasions early on and control them before the plants have a chance to establish; (3) Address invasive species using the response appropriate for the level of invasiveness (level 1 through 5) as defined in the Invasive Plant Strategic Plan (IPSP)

regional and/or local NFO 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Management units: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

From 2017-2021, remove Level 4 and 5 invasive species that are threatening MSP species as specified in the Invasive Plant Strategic Plan.

Action Statement Action status Projects
IMP-1 Remove Level 4 and 5 species that are threatening significant occurrences of MSP species on Conserved Lands Available for implementation Brachypodium Control - Phase I and II, North County Dunes Restoration
Criteria Deadline year
Project reports submitted within 1 Year of Removal Efforts 2021
Threat Name Threat Code
Invasive plantsINVPLA