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Article

Short-Term Vegetation Responses Following Windthrow Disturbance on Preserved Forest Lands

1
National Park Service Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network, 426 Forest Resources Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
2
The Pennsylvania State University, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology and Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, 303 Forest Resources Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
3
The Pennsylvania State University Department of Plant Science, 422 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(5), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050278
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 8 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Management of Invasive Species in Forest Ecosystems)
Invasive exotic plants pose a serious threat to the ecological integrity of forests in the eastern United States. Presence and expansion of these plants are closely associated with human-caused disturbances. Land preservation to exclude human-caused disturbances could protect against invasions, yet natural disturbances persist. We ask if windthrow forest disturbances in preserved National Park lands facilitate exotic species invasions. We hypothesized that exotic plant expansion is positively correlated with forest canopy disturbance from windthrow and proximity of disturbed area to forest edge. Pre and post-disturbance data from National Park Service long-term vegetation monitoring were used to analyze exotic plant richness and abundance in four National Park Service units affected by 2012 severe storms. No significant difference in exotic plant richness or cover occurred between disturbed (n = 18) and undisturbed plots (n = 262) over three years following disturbance. Exotic plant cover prior to disturbance was positively correlated with the amount of nearby linear edge habitat, but there were no significant correlations between edge and change in exotic plant cover following disturbance. Lack of increase in exotic plants after windthrow disturbance suggests that land preservation provides short-term resistance to invasion. View Full-Text
Keywords: invasive plants; disturbance; preserved lands invasive plants; disturbance; preserved lands
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MDPI and ACS Style

Manning, D.R.; Kaye, M.W.; Perles, S.J.; Mortensen, D.A. Short-Term Vegetation Responses Following Windthrow Disturbance on Preserved Forest Lands. Forests 2018, 9, 278. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050278

AMA Style

Manning DR, Kaye MW, Perles SJ, Mortensen DA. Short-Term Vegetation Responses Following Windthrow Disturbance on Preserved Forest Lands. Forests. 2018; 9(5):278. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050278

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manning, Douglas R., Margot W. Kaye, Stephanie J. Perles, and David A. Mortensen 2018. "Short-Term Vegetation Responses Following Windthrow Disturbance on Preserved Forest Lands" Forests 9, no. 5: 278. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050278

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