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

Department of Forestry, Center for Ecology, 1205 Lincoln Drive–MC 4411, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
Center for Agroforestry, School of Natural Resources, 203 ABNR, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2012, 3(4), 853-863;
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)
PDF [586 KB, uploaded 27 September 2012]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: Imperata cylindrica; fire; hurricane; salvage logging Imperata cylindrica; fire; hurricane; salvage logging

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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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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