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Individual Highlight

Scientist Proposes Best Management Practices to Protect Forests from Invasive Species

Photo of Ailanthus stems overtopping regeneration in shelterwood cut stands in southeast Pennsylvania on private land. LeDoux, Chris, USDA Forest ServiceAilanthus stems overtopping regeneration in shelterwood cut stands in southeast Pennsylvania on private land. LeDoux, Chris, USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : Forest Service scientists have developed best management practices that should significantly reduce the spread of invasive plants during timber harvesting operations. The practices are user friendly, relatively inexpensive, and research has shown that they work very well when used.

Principal Investigators(s) :
LeDoux, Chris B. 
Research Location : West Virginia
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2013
Highlight ID : 469

Summary

The invasion and spread of invasive plants is a major problem in forested ecosystems. Invasive plants can displace existing vegetation and, in some cases, take over the site and cause major ecosystem changes that jeopardize ecological processes and functions as well as habitat for wildlife. Timber harvesting often creates conditions that establish and spread invasive plants. Machinery and traffic movement within a job site often introduce and spread seeds, roots, and plant parts from one job site to another. A Forest Service researcher with the agency's Northern Research Station analyzed timber harvesting processes and how they create disturbances; explained how seeds, roots, and other parts of invasive plants can be spread; and proposed voluntary best management practices for invasive plant mitigation during timber harvesting operations. Some of the proposed best management practices include: train staff to identify, monitor for, report, control, and map new/old infestations; inspect and clean equipment of soil, seeds, plants; and wash off equipment before moving from site.

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