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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Interaction between Ailanthus altissima and Native Robinia pseudoacacia in Early Succession: Implications for Forest Management

1
Department of Biological Sciences, 3002 Derring Hall, 1405 Perry Street, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
2
US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
3
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Blandy Experimental Farm, 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA 22620, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(4), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040221
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Management of Invasive Species in Forest Ecosystems)
The goal of this study was to discover the nature and intensity of the interaction between an exotic invader Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle and its coexisting native Robinia pseudoacacia L. and consider management implications. The study occurred in the Mid-Appalachian region of the eastern United States. Ailanthus altissima can have a strong negative influence on community diversity and succession due to its allelopathic nature while R. pseudoacacia can have a positive effect on community diversity and succession because of its ability to fix nitrogen. How these trees interact and the influence of the interaction on succession will have important implications for forests in many regions of the world. An additive-replacement series common garden experiment was established to identify the type and extent of interactions between these trees over a three-year period. Both A. altissima and R. pseudoacacia grown in monoculture were inhibited by intraspecific competition. In the first year, A. altissima grown with R. pseudoacacia tended to be larger than A. altissima in monoculture, suggesting that R. pseudoacacia may facilitate the growth of A. altissima at the seedling stage. After the second year, R. pseudoacacia growth decreased as the proportion of coexisting A. altissima increased, indicating inhibition of R. pseudoacacia by A. altissima even though the R. pseudoacacia plants were much larger aboveground than the A. altissima plants. In early successional sites A. altissima should be removed, particularly in the presence of R. pseudoacacia in order to promote long-term community succession. View Full-Text
Keywords: competition; early succession; forest invasions; invasive species; forest management competition; early succession; forest invasions; invasive species; forest management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nilsen, E.T.; Huebner, C.D.; Carr, D.E.; Bao, Z. Interaction between Ailanthus altissima and Native Robinia pseudoacacia in Early Succession: Implications for Forest Management. Forests 2018, 9, 221. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040221

AMA Style

Nilsen ET, Huebner CD, Carr DE, Bao Z. Interaction between Ailanthus altissima and Native Robinia pseudoacacia in Early Succession: Implications for Forest Management. Forests. 2018; 9(4):221. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040221

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nilsen, Erik T.; Huebner, Cynthia D.; Carr, David E.; Bao, Zhe. 2018. "Interaction between Ailanthus altissima and Native Robinia pseudoacacia in Early Succession: Implications for Forest Management" Forests 9, no. 4: 221. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9040221

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