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Monday, April 9 • 4:30pm - 4:45pm
LANDSCAPE PATTERN & PROCESS: Differing Road Effects on Plant Invasion in Various Landscape Settings

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AUTHORS: Benjamin Taylor, Purdue University; Kurt Riitters, USFS; Songlin Fei, Purdue University

ABSTRACT: Understanding the impacts of roadways in anthropogenic-driven invasion systems is critical as more forests across the United States are threatened by invasive plants. Due to the facts that human-mediated impacts on invasion processes are interconnected, it is not clear whether the impacts of roads have similar effects in different landscape settings and/or regions. Here, we used data from ~40,000 plots collected by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) national program to examine the effect of road impacts on invasive plants in different landscapes in the eastern U.S. We hypothesized that the size of the road-effect zone (distance from road) would be larger in more disturbed landscapes (i.e., agriculture and developed) than in natural landscapes. Our results show that, in general, invasive plant richness has a hump-shaped relationship with distance from road regardless of landscape settings. However, forests associated with landscapes that are prone to higher disturbance rate have higher invasion richness than forests in more natural settings. These results confirms that roads do have strong impacts on exotic plant invasion. The hump-shaped relationship also supports the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (i.e. diversity maximized at certain distances away from road where disturbances are likely at intermediate level).

Monday April 9, 2018 4:30pm - 4:45pm CDT
Spire Parlor