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Title:Predicting invadedness of forested protected areas in relation to natural and anthropogenic disturbances
Author(s):Daniels, Melissa
Advisor(s):Larson, Eric R
Contributor(s):Matthews, Jeff; Evans, Chris
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):invasive plants
protected areas
canopy disturbance
Abstract:Protected areas are essential for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services such as natural disaster risk reduction and climate regulation. However, invasive plants threaten these benefits of protected areas by negatively impacting native plants and animals and altering ecosystem structure and function. Natural and anthropogenic disturbances create conditions that may favor establishment and spread of invasive plants. In order to manage invasive plants and mitigate their effects on forested protected areas, it is important to be able to predict how disturbances affect invasive plant populations. My thesis includes two studies that address the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on invasive plant abundance in protected areas. In Chapter 1, I outlined a general background on the ecological and economic impacts of invasive plants, and management responses to the four stages of the invasion process. In Chapter 2, I explored the effects of roads and streams on invadedness of 27 Appalachian protected areas. I focused on roads and streams as predictors of invadedness since both roads and streams deliver invasive plant propagules and are sources of disturbance that can favor establishment of invasive plants. Having a reliable predictor of protected area invadedness would meaningfully help land management organizations avoid acquiring heavily invaded protected areas or accurately plan for their management costs. In Chapter 3, I used a time series of windstorms in southern Illinois to determine whether windstorm-disturbed forests are significantly more invaded than areas of undisturbed forest. I expected forest blowdown areas to be more heavily invaded than undisturbed forest since a decrease in tree canopy provides increased resources, such as light, to invasive plants. I then sought to determine the effects of time since disturbance and disturbance magnitude on invadedness of blowdown areas. Knowing the factors that affect the invadedness of blowdowns will allow land managers to preferentially allocate funding to management of invasive plants in specific blowdown areas.
Issue Date:2019-03-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Melissa Daniels
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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