Publication Details

Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge

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Year Published

2006

Publication

In: Dickinson, Matthew B., ed. 2006. Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers, proceedings of a conference; 2005 November 15-17; Columbus, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 218-232.

Abstract

Successful regeneration of oak-dominated communities in the Eastern United States historically requires disturbance such as fire, making them vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants. Little is currently known about the effects of fire on invasive plant species and the effects of invasive plant species on fire regimes of this region. Seventeen common eastern invaders were evaluated for their response to fire and potential to change current fire regimes. Twelve species are potentially controllable with repeated growingseason burns (decreasers); five may increase in abundance in response to fire (increasers). Most of the woody decreasers are also potential resisters of fire at maturity. The presence of a seedbank or an outside seed source (evaders) for all but one species and a positive germination response to post-fire conditions (e.g., higher soil temperature, nitrogen availability, and light) make it less likely that most eastern plant invaders can be controlled by fire alone. Shifts in fire regime in eastern oak communities are undocumented but may occur due to changes in community flammability after an invasion. Current fire models are inadequate for predicting fire behavior in these oak communities due to a lack of information on eastern native and exotic plant species fuels. Consequently, fire behavior predictions are best made on a site-by-site basis, especially for sites with multiple invaders composed of increasers and decreasers as well as fire promoters and inhibitors.

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Citation

Huebner, Cynthia D. 2006. Fire and invasive exotic plant species in eastern oak communities: an assessment of current knowledge. In: Dickinson, Matthew B., ed. 2006. Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers, proceedings of a conference; 2005 November 15-17; Columbus, OH. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-1. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 218-232.

Last updated on: November 14, 2006