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Spatiotemporal Patterns and Mechanisms of Chinese Tallowtree (Triadica sebifera) Spread along Edge Habitat in a Coastal Landscape, Mississippi, USA

  • Zhaofei Fan (a1), Shaoyang Yang (a1) (a2) and Xia Liu (a3)
Abstract

Chinese tallowtree [Triadica sebifera (L.) Small] has reached unprecedented prevalence in coastal landscapes in the Gulf of Mexico, especially along edge habitat with low competition and abundant resource (e.g., light) availability. This study investigated the spatiotemporal patterns and mechanisms of T. sebifera spread along roadways and fire lines. Triadica sebifera individuals and landscape and community features were surveyed in equally spaced, spatially mapped plots. All T. sebifera individuals were felled to determine tree age and status (seed trees or non-seed bearing trees), and T. sebifera seed and seedling (≤2 yr old) densities and community and landscape features (over- and understory conditions, distance to seed trees) were measured. A zero-inflated negative binomial model was used to evaluate factors affecting T. sebifera seed dispersal and seedling recruitment contributing to the observed spatiotemporal patterns. Introduced into the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge around 30 yr ago, T. sebifera trees distribute in clustered patterns along roadways and fire lines and exhibit an exponential growth in density. High T. sebifera seed and seedling densities mainly occurred in sites that are ≤250 m from seed trees or have sparse overstory and high understory grass/herb coverage. With respect to the avian seed dispersal mechanism, the spatiotemporal patterns of T. sebifera spread along roadways and fire lines could be simply characterized by using landscape and community features that influence avian behaviors, including distance to seed trees, overstory tree density, and ground grass/herb coverage.

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Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Zhaofei Fan, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, 602 Duncan Drive, Auburn, AL 36849. (Email: zzf0008@auburn.edu)
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Invasive Plant Science and Management
  • ISSN: 1939-7291
  • EISSN: 1939-747X
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