Invasive Plant Response to Disturbance on the Black Hills National Forest
The ponderosa pine forest ecosystem of the Black Hill historically evolved under a disturbance regime of fire, mountain pine beetles, wind, and harsh winters. In the absence of the periodic natural fire regime, fuels accumulated and ultimately resulted in a large, catastrophic wildfire. The Jasper fire was the largest fire in the history of the management of the Black Hills National Forest, with a total of 83,500 acres burned in August 2000. Plots were placed throughout the burned area to detect patterns of invasive plants in all burn severity classes.
The Black Hills National Forest has a very active timber program, in part due to relatively level terrain, local saw mills, and a proliferation of ponderosa pine. The on-going timber program has resulted in widespread, patch-sized disturbance across the forest landscape. The processes of mechanized timber harvest have created a variety of disturbances such as haul roads, skid trails, slash piles, erosion, and exposed mineral soils. This project examines response of the understory plant community, with an emphasis on invasives, to various aspects of timber harvest and levels of disturbance.
These 2 large projects combined with one smaller project investigating invasive plants following salvage logging have created a substantial amount of data relating invasive plants and disturbances at multiple spatial and temporal scales on the Black Hills.
GSD Principal Investigators
|Butler, Jack||Supervisory Research Ecologist||605-716-2160|
Cooperators and Sponsors
Blaine Cook, Forest Silviculturist, Black Hills National Forest