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Ecological Section

Martine, Christopher [1], Herron, Patrick M. [1], Latimer, Andrew M. [1], Leicht, Stacey A. [1], Mosher, Eric S. [1].

Predicting the next woody invasives in New England: A model-based approach to identifying future threats.

Increased awareness of the detrimental effects of invasive plants has led to recent efforts to predict future potentially invasive species. The threats posed by invasive species are particularly relevant in the landscape of New England, where an estimated 28-32% of the flora is of exotic origin. We have developed predictive models using logistic regression, Bayesian hierarchical regression, and discriminant analysis that can be used to predict potential invasiveness of woody plant species in New England, and to assess the capacity of the resulting trait-based models to make successful predictions. Data was collected for 244 non-native woody plants on 28 characters considered potentially relevant to their capability to naturalize in New England. Emphasis was placed on traits that characterize reproductive strategy, dispersal ability, growth rate, and tolerance along major environmental gradients (temperature, soil moisture, light availability). The resulting models, based on the 12 most informative characters, identify a suite of "invasive traits" and highlight the ecology associated with invasiveness for each of three growth forms (shrubs, trees and woody vines). The models also identify a number of potential future invasive species in New England that deserve management consideration. The prospect of predicting and screening for future plant invasions in the United States and New England provides optimism for more effective management because the majority of exotic plant species now present in the environment were not accidental introductions but introduced intentionally for landscaping, nursery, ornamental, forestry, and agricultural use. The potential for new invasions to begin by these same means could be lessened through the use of predictive models like the ones presented here.


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Related Links:
Invasive Plants Atlas of New England (IPANE)


1 - University of Connecticut, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 75 North Eagleville Rd. U-3043, Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-3043, USA

Keywords:
Invasive Species
New England
Bayesian regression.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: 33-20
Location: Salon C, D & E - Gov Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 12:30 PM
Abstract ID:235


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