Southern Appalachian Forest Community Response to Three Methods of Exotic Invasive Removal

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Farmer, Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Jennifer Rhode Ward

Abstract: Exotic plants often dominate areas to which they are introduced, and might ultimately alter community composition, ecosystem structure and function. This study evaluated the native plant community response to three different methodsof exotic invasive removal – chemical, mechanical, and a combination of the two. The study was conducted on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville over four consecutive summers (2008-2011). This study aimed to determine which treatment was most effective in reducing exotic presence and increasing native species abundance and richness, while also identifying species that were especially important in shaping the overall community composition. The cover and richness of native plants in the herbaceous community (all non-woody plants) and the tree seedling community (all tree species less than 0.2 m tall) increased significantly over all treatments during the study, while the exotic cover declined significantly. Differences among treatment methods were not significant. Importantexotic drivers of community composition in the tree seedling, herbaceous, and shrub communities, included the exotic tree/shrub Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet) and others. Future research should evaluate native community responsesto removal of important exotic species identified in this study.

Additional Information

UNC Asheville - Journal of Undergraduate Research
Language: English
Date: 2013
exotic plants, invasive plant removal, Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet)

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