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Ecological and Economic Determinants of Invasive Tree Species on Alabama Forestland

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The spread of invasive tree species has caused increasing harm to the environment. This study was motivated by the considerations that earlier studies generally ignored the role of economic factors related to the occurrence and abundance of invasive species, and empirical analyses of invasive trees on forestland have been inadequate. We assessed the impact of ecological and economic factors on the occurrence and number of invasive tree species on Alabama forestland since 1990. Count data models were used to analyze the 2004 Alabama Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data. The proportion of FIA plots with invasive species was 1.06% in 1990, 1.24% in 2000, and 1.35% in 2004. Occurrence of invasive trees on a plot depended on forest type (e.g., natural pines, planted pines, or oak-pines). Plots with planted pine were 171% less likely to be infested with invasive trees than otherwise similar plots. Number of invasive trees per plot was determined by a wide variety of factors, including site productivity, growing stock, stand age, ecoregion, plot proximity to metropolitan centers, ownership type, and forest management activity. The magnitude of the impact was especially large for the ownership type, with more invasive trees on private forestlands than on public lands. These findings suggest that both ecological and economic factors need to be considered in the prevention and control of invasive species invasion.

Keywords: Forest Inventory Analysis; count data; zero-inflated negative binomial

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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