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 More Info about Grasses

Identifying grass:

Grass flowers are very important for an ID. Also note height, how the leaves attach to the stem, stem hair, leaf shape and size, and growth patterns (clumping? creeping?). Take lots of photos to help other iNaturalists to verify your identification. It’s not essential to identify the grass yourself when using iNaturalist, but having some idea of the type of grass will speed up identification. iNaturalist itself is a very good source of information.

       Excellent website about identifying grasses , especially this page of ‘ten top tips’.

Guide to some of the common grasses in Brisbane (pdf).
Brisbane City Council weed identification tool
NSW DPI weedwise site.
this University of Florida website compares Johnson grass, Guinea grass, and Vassey grass.
Atlas of Living Australia,
AusGrass 2 (grasses of Australia)
QLD Department of Environment and Science
QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Identifying pollen

Brief descrition of some of the pollen counted by the QUT Allergy Research group (open pdf).
Fascinating website about pollen structure and microstructures
Great short read about pollination and seed yield in grass seed crops

A little more about Grass

Grass is one of the families of the plant kingdom (Poaceae family). Grasses grow all over the world and include many of the plants that are either food staples (e.g. wheat and rice) or are staple fodders (e.g. ryegrass, sorghum, oats), and the grass family includes many plants that are of great importance in other ways (e.g. bamboo). Grass pollen is a major human and pet allergen, with some species such as ryegrass (a widely used cool-climate fodder) causing more allergic reactions than others. The potential of this wide-spread family to cause allergic reactions is boosted by characteristics of their reproduction: grasses rely on the wind to disperse their pollen, so the pollen is light and mobile. In Queensland we have a relatively long grass pollen season lasting roughly from November to April, but the characteristics of our grass pollen aerobiome (what species do we have, when do they produce pollen?) have only recently started to be characterised. It is known, however, that the makeup of grasses in South East Queensland and in many areas of Australia has been heavily altered by scores of introduced pasture grass species (e.g. Rhodes grass, Sorghum, Johnson grass). Plenty of these grasses have gone on to become weeds of national significance, invading natural landscapes and altering fire regimes (e.g. Buffel grass, Gamba grass). For Brisbane, pollen is regularly monitored at a single site in Rocklea, but this is not necessarily representative of pollen distribution across the greater Brisbane area. Addistionally, all pollen in the grass (Poaceae) family looks the same under a light microscope, so it is not possible to infer what species is contributing to the aerobiome even at this single site unless by using DNA analysis, which is currently a prohibitively expensive and very slow method; this is where the Grass Gazer citizen scientists can help by making observation of grasses and in particular grasses in pollen production.