Category: Systematic Review
Title: Non-Native Plant Encroachment in Burned Ponderosa Pine Forests: A Comparison of Prescribed and Wild Fires
Author: * McGlone, C.M. , * Leppert, J.J., * Springer, J.D.
Subject: Invasive, Prescribed burns, Wildfire
Abstract: Fire plays an integral role in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)-dominated forests by regulating and maintaining tree density, understory species abundance and composition, litter accumulation, and many ecosystem processes. The increased density of trees, coupled with changes in climate, has led to a commensurate increase in the number of hectares burned annually by wildfire. In addition, more land is treated each year for fuels management with prescribed fire, often in combination with mechanical tree thinning prior to burning. Disturbances created by these treatments may facilitate the spread of undesirable non-native plant species (hereafter non-natives) into the burned landscapes. Increasingly, thinning and burning treatments are implemented with a focus on ecological restoration in addition to fuels reduction. While ecological restoration treatments are intended to reinvigorate all aspects of forest health, including the native understory community, there is a growing concern among land managers, scientists, and other stakeholders about the risk of encroachment by non-natives into these systems. In this review we will examine levels of non-native invasion in response to thinning and burning treatments in ponderosa pine forests through North America. We will then compare these results to levels of invasion reported in wildfires. Lastly, we will look for common factors in thinned and burned areas and wildfire areas that did not experience high levels of non-native invasion.
Type: Review Protocol - Draft
Source: Collaboration for Environmental Evidence
Identifier: No. CEE 10-012, 8p.