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Forests 2015, 6(12), 4374-4390; doi:10.3390/f6124374

Species Distribution Model for Management of an Invasive Vine in Forestlands of Eastern Texas

1
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
3
Texas A&M Forest Service, College Station, TX 77843, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Diana F. Tomback
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 11 November 2015 / Accepted: 18 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Conservation in Forests)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3208 KB, uploaded 27 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Invasive plants decrease biodiversity, modify vegetation structure, and inhibit growth and reproduction of native species. Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.) is the most prevalent invasive vine in the forestlands of eastern Texas. Hence, we aimed to identify potential factors influencing the distribution of the species, quantify the relative importance of each factor, and test possible management strategies. We analyzed an extensive dataset collected as part of the Forest Inventory and Analysis Program of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service to quantify the range expansion of Japanese honeysuckle in the forestlands of eastern Texas from 2006 to 2011. We then identified potential factors influencing the likelihood of presence of Japanese honeysuckle using boosted regression trees. Our results indicated that the presence of Japanese honeysuckle on sampled plots almost doubled during this period (from 352 to 616 plots), spreading extensively, geographically. The probability of invasion was correlated with variables representing landscape conditions, climatic conditions, forest features, disturbance factors, and forest management activities. Habitats most at risk to invasion under current conditions occurred primarily in northeastern Texas, with a few invasion hotspots in the south. Estimated probabilities of invasion were reduced most by artificial site regeneration, with habitats most at risk again occurring primarily in northeastern Texas. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity; biological invasions; boosted regression trees; Japanese honeysuckle; likelihood of invasion; Lonicera japonica Thunb. biodiversity; biological invasions; boosted regression trees; Japanese honeysuckle; likelihood of invasion; Lonicera japonica Thunb.
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, H.-H.; Koralewski, T.E.; McGrew, E.K.; Grant, W.E.; Byram, T.D. Species Distribution Model for Management of an Invasive Vine in Forestlands of Eastern Texas. Forests 2015, 6, 4374-4390.

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