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Title: Spread of invasive plants from roads to river systems in Alaska: a network model

Author: Wurtz, Tricia L.; Macander, Matt J. Spellman Blaine T.;

Date: 2010

Source: In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 699-708

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Alaska has relatively few invasive plants, and most of them are found only along the state’s limited road system. One of the most widely distributed invasives in the state, Melilotus alba Medik., or sweetclover, has been sown both as a forage crop and as a roadside stabilization species. Melilotus has recently been found to have moved from roadsides to the flood plains of at least three glacial rivers. This species has aggressively colonized the lower Stikine River flood plain and occurs there in dense, monospecific stands. It is at an earlier stage of colonization of the Matanuska River and Nenana River flood plains as well. We are developing a network model to examine the spatial relationships among roads, river crossings, and downstream public lands of high conservation significance in interior and south-central Alaska. In 2005 and 2006, we documented the distribution of Melilotus on roadsides and near river crossings in this part of the state; we present these data combined with other records of Melilotus distribution downloaded from the Alaska Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse database. When considered together, the distribution data and the network model identify certain road-river interfaces as critical control points for preventing the movement of Melilotus toward public land downstream. To illustrate how the model might be used by land managers, results are presented for major crossings upstream of the Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge. When complete, the network model will function as a generally applicable tool to identify the critical control points upstream from land under various ownerships and for any future invasive species that can disperse via roads and river networks in Alaska.

Keywords: Invasive plants, Alaska, modeling, networks, roads.

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Wurtz, Tricia L.; Macander, Matt J.; Spellman, Blaine T. 2010. Spread of invasive plants from roads to river systems in Alaska: a network model. In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 699-708.

 


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