Potential range of expansion of the invasive species Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov (Poaceae) in Andalucia.
María del mar Ortega González.
In the early 1990s, Pennisetum setaceum began to be introduced as an ornamental species in Andalusia, thanks to the beauty of its feathery inflorescences and its easy cultivation and maintenance. Currently, there are numerous records of its presence along the Mediterranean coast, given its ease of 'escape' from the sites where it is introduced, e.g. gardens, traffic circles, etc., and spread to surrounding areas. This poses a potential threat to natural communities, especially in the arid and semi-arid environments of southeastern Andalusia. This paper presents an approximation to the potential distribution of P. setaceum in Andalusia, and discusses possible climatic and topographic factors that may influence its range of expansion. The results obtained show that almost the entire Andalusian coast would be a suitable area for P. setaceum. The species would tolerate high aridity very well and its northward expansion would be limited by low temperatures. Finally, the orography of the terrain would not represent an obstacle to its spread.