Assessing the Ecological Impacts of Invasive Trees
A number of non-native trees are commonly planted in urban forests and inlcuded in the collections of public gardens. Some non-native trees have been shown to have the capacity to invade natural forests. Once established, certain non-native trees can have serious impacts on native tree regeneration and microbially mediated processes (nutrient cycling, decomposition, etc.).
By investigating the effects of established canopy individuals of a number of exotic tree species (including Ailanthus altissima, Phellodendron amurense, Acer platanoides, Paulownia tomentosa, and Ulmus pumila), on the establishment, growth, and survival of regeneration of the dominant native tree species in the area, an assessment and a subsqequent understanding of the impact that non-native species could have on plant communities, regeneration of native species, and overall ecosystem functioning in native forests is hoped to be gained. Obtaining this information is necessary in order to prioritize control efforts and the removal of specimens.
Drs. Kurt Smemo and David Burke - Holden Arboretum
Kunso Kim - The Morton Arboretum
Photo: Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org