Invasive Plant Management Plan for the Duke Forest, Durham, NC

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Recently, populations of invasive plants are increasing in the Duke Forest and detrimentally affecting the growth of Pinus taeda (loblolly pine) and natural forest communities. To effectively control the spread of invasives, the Duke Forest Resource Manager needs to know what invasive plants are located throughout the Forest, where they are located and what factors are associated with their presence. Therefore, a sample of the invasive plant population was recorded using a GPS unit. This data was then used to model the distribution of each of the invasive plants throughout the Forest. I used Maxent to create these predicted distributions.

Ailanthus altissima, Lonicera japonica, and Microstegium vimineum are the dominant invasive species present. Of the 15 invasive plants recorded, most species were found along roads and streams. The management activity that was most correlated with presence of invasive plants was harvesting, though no specific harvesting technique (i.e. seed-tree, salvage, selective or clear cut) predicts invasive plant presence than any other.

The predicted distribution maps will be used to complete a targeted inventory of invasive plants throughout the Duke Forest. The inventory process should begin in Natural Heritage areas predicted to have high priority species and multiple invasive species. When feasible, control treatments should be applied at the same time as inventorying particularly on small, peripheral populations. In addition, the Duke Forest Manager can prevent future invasions through monitoring and early removal of plants in areas where soil disturbing management activities have taken place.





Wright, Lorna (2009). Invasive Plant Management Plan for the Duke Forest, Durham, NC. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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