Chapter 10: Occurrence of non-native invasive plants: The role of anthropogenic features

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The invasion of non-native plants in the Wyoming Basins Ecoregional Assessment (WBEA) area is a major economic and ecological stress, with invasions thought to be hastened by energy developments. Given the potential impacts of nonnative invasive plants and the rapid changes in land use in the WBEA, broad-scale assessments and predictive models of nonnative invasive plant distribution are needed. Using this information, the current extent of populations for targeting treatment and monitoring can be identified, the habitat affinities for forecasting where weeds may establish next determined, and the responses to individual human disturbances (such as energy developments) predicted. To address these needs, we conducted vegetation surveys across the WBEA area at 317 individual survey blocks (five plots per survey block) during the summers of 2005 and 2006. Survey blocks were stratified by both human disturbance and habitat productivity; in each of five plots per survey block the occurrence of 23 common nonnative invasive plants was recorded during early and late season surveys. Here, we report on the four most common invasive plants, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus), and Russian thistle (Salsola spp.). Occurrence models were generated for each species using random-effects logistic regression to account for nesting of plots within sample sites. Predictors of occupancy included local habitat, abiotic condition, and distance to anthropogenic features. Although occurrences of all four invasive plants were affected by habitat, abiotic, and anthropogenic factors, cheatgrass and Russian thistle were most strongly associated with anthropogenic disturbance, primarily major roads and energy well sites. We assessed relationships between environmental and anthropogenic predictors and species occurrences to identify the major factors affecting current species distribution, examined shape of the response in occurrence in relation to proximity to individual anthropogenic disturbances, and provided spatial predictions of the locations where invasive plants are most likely to occur.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Chapter 10: Occurrence of non-native invasive plants: The role of anthropogenic features
Chapter 10
ISBN 978-0-615-55530-0
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Allen Press
Publisher location Lawrence, Kansas
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Fort Collins Science Center
Description 30 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Sagebrush ecosystem conservation and management: Ecoregional assessment tools and models for the Wyoming Basins
First page 357
Last page 386
Public Comments The U.S. Geological Survey has been given express permission by the publisher to provide full-text access online for this publication, and is posted with the express permission from the Publications Warehouse Guidance Subcommittee
Country United States
State Wyoming
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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