Date of this Version
Published in Plant Ecol (2012) 213:355–370. DOI 10.1007/s11258-011-0015-z
Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) and redtop (A. gigantea) are introduced turfgrasses that are naturalized throughout the northern U.S. Interest in creeping bentgrass has risen following the 2003 escape of a genetically modified (GM), herbicide- resistant cultivar near Madras, Oregon. The objectives of this study were to characterize the floristic attributes of the plant communities associated with naturalized Agrostis populations in the Madras area, and to identify plant communities at risk of invasion by transgenic Agrostis. Vegetation data collected from 62 stratified random vegetation plots with and without A. stolonifera and A. gigantea identified 11 distinct plant communities. Community composition was strongly correlated with an indirect soil moisture index based on the wetland status of individual species. Results indicate that wetland plant communities are at the highest risk of invasion by transgenic A. stolonifera. Also, inter-specific gene flow to A. gigantea could affect additional habitats and plant communities where A. stolonifera is not found. Both A. stolonifera and A. gigantea were invasive in wetland and riparian settings in the Madras study area, and introducing glyphosate (e.g., Roundup®, Rodeo®) herbicide tolerance into these populations would eliminate the primary means of control for these species.