Prescribed Fire Effects on Nonnative Invasive Plants in Ozark Terrestrial Communities

The impact of exotic invasive species on terrestrial natural communities is well documented. In Missouri, more than 200 exotic plants have invaded upland and lowland habitats across the state (Gaskin 2002). Prescribed fire is a management tool used across many habitat types, but its effects on exotics are largely unknown or information available is inconclusive. This webinar outlines the impacts of fire for thirteen exotic plant species found in Missouri’s forested landscapes: Amur bush honeysuckle, autumn olive, border privet, common buckthorn, garlic mustard, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese stiltgrass, Morrow’s bush honeysuckle, multiflora rose, oriental bittersweet, princesstree, sericea lespedeza, and tree-of-heaven. A review of the literature reveals many conflicting reports about how prescribed fire impacts these thirteen exotic species, although there are some commonalities for a few species. The purpose of this synthesis is not to confuse fire management action, but it outlines the variety of responses you should expect if fire is used to manage terrestrial natural communities invaded by exotics.

by Aaron Stevenson, Missouri Department of Conservation

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