Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (644 KB bytes)

Title: Winter litter disturbance facilitates the spread of the nonnative invasive grass Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus

Author: Oswalt, Christopher M.; Oswalt, Sonja N.;

Date: 2007

Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 249: 199-203

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: We investigated the impacts of winter litter disturbance on the spread of the nonnative invasive plant Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus through experimental removals. We hypothesized that light penetration through the litter layer facilitates the spread of M. vimineum in forested systems. Our objective, therefore, was to quantify M. vimineum spread following litter removal. Linear spread and cover expansion from established M. vimineum patches was documented for one growing season under intact, undisturbed hardwood canopies within plots receiving one of two treatments. Treatments included litter removal (hereafter "removal") and no litter removal (hereafter "undisturbed). After one growing season, plots receiving the removal treatment experienced a spread of M. vimineum 4.5 times greater than plots receiving the undisturbed treatment (P < 0.0001 ; 1.66, and 0.37 m expansion, respectively). Cover expansion (measured as percent cover in 0.5 m2 blocks at 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 m from established M. vimineum) averaged 16, 4, 0, and 0%, respectively, for the undisturbed treatment and 87, 64, 31, and 9%, respectively, for the removal treatment. Differences existed in cover expansion between treatments at the 0.5, 1, and 1.5 m distances (P < 0.0001, P < 0.001, and P = 0.01, respectively). Our results suggest that winter litter removal as a result of harvest activities, floodwater scour, or animal activities can drastically increase M. vimineum spread and may enhance potential ecological impacts of invasions by increasing M. vimineum percent cover. Previous studies have shown that M. vimineum responds to canopy removal with dramatic increases in biomass. This study suggests one mechanism facilitating rapid expansion of M. vimineum following site disturbance, and indicates that M. vimineum can experience rapid growth in response to site disturbance even in the absence of canopy removal.

Keywords: dispersal, disturbance, invasive species, Japangrass, Microstegium vimineum, litter layer, nepalese browntop, regeneration, seed ecology

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to pubrequest@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)

XML: View XML

Citation:


Oswalt, Christopher M.; Oswalt, Sonja N. 2007. Winter litter disturbance facilitates the spread of the nonnative invasive grass Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus. Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 249: 199-203

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.