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Forests 2012, 3(4), 853-863; doi:10.3390/f3040853
Article

Response of the Invasive Grass Imperata cylindrica to Disturbance in the Southeastern Forests, USA

1,*  and 2
Received: 29 June 2012 / Revised: 14 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 26 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exotic and Invasive Plant Species Impacting Forests)
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Abstract

Imperata cylindrica is an invasive plant species that threatens diversity and forest productivity in southeastern ecosystems. We examined the effects of disturbance events, particularly fire and hurricane/salvage harvesting, to determine the effects on I. cylindrica abundance in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests in the Florida panhandle. Areas that were burned or had greater biomass removal following a hurricane had a greater number of I. cylindrica patches and larger patch size. These results highlight the importance of disturbance events on expanding invasive species populations in this region and are likely applicable for other invasive species as well. Monitoring and treatment should follow disturbance events to ensure that invasive species populations do not exceed unmanageable levels.
Keywords: Imperata cylindrica; fire; hurricane; salvage logging Imperata cylindrica; fire; hurricane; salvage logging
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Holzmueller, E.J.; Jose, S. Response of the Invasive Grass Imperata cylindrica to Disturbance in the Southeastern Forests, USA. Forests 2012, 3, 853-863.

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