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Acacia Species: Establishment and Maintenance of Thorn Scrub

Project Number: 
Project Duration: 
24 months
May 1, 2001 to April 30, 2003
Institution of Principle Investigator while on this project: 
University of Illinois

Investigators (most current known information)

Professor, Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana IL 61801
TEL: +1-217-333-7577, FAX: +1-217-244-7246, Email:
Research Associate, Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois, 505 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana IL 61801, USA
TEL: +1-217-333-7577, FAX: +1-217-244-7246
Department of Plant Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, ISRAEL
TEL: +972-3-640-9190, FAX: +972-3-640-9380, Email:

Proposal Abstract

Major findings of this project:

  • There are few seeds in the seed bank of Acaciaspecies in South Texas. More than 80 species of other plants were grown from soil seed bank samples.
  • Recruitment of the 5 major Acacia species studied is quite low and apparently episodic.
  • In contrast to literature reports, nitrogen levels beneath Acacia and Prosopis species were extremely low and not different from those of surrounding areas without these species.
  • Acacia species were especially effective nurse plant species.
  • Predation of Acacia seeds by bruchid beetles is quite high (in some instances as high as 90%). Based on anecdotal evidence, woodrats may also be important consumers of Acacia seeds.
  • Comparison of control and treated areas indicated that brush control procedures result in lower biodiversity and a change in species importance values in 4 distinct community types.


No outcomes reported


Support for this project came from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service