Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 563–579

Slow spread of the aggressive invader, Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stiltgrass)

  • Emily S. J. Rauschert
  • David A. Mortensen
  • Ottar N. Bjørnstad
  • Andrea N. Nord
  • Nora Peskin
Original Paper


Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stiltgrass) is a non-native weed whose rapid invasion threatens native diversity and regeneration in forests. Using data from a 4 year experiment tracking new invasions in different habitats, we developed a spatial model of patch growth, using maximum likelihood techniques to estimate dispersal and population growth parameters. The patches expanded surprisingly slowly: in the final year, the majority of new seedlings were still within 1 m of the original patch. The influence of habitat was not as strong as anticipated, although patches created in roadside and wet meadow habitats tended to expand more rapidly and had greater reproductive ratios. The long-term projections of the patch growth model suggest much slower spread than has typically been observed for M. vimineum. The small scale of natural dispersal suggests that human-mediated dispersal, likely influenced by forest road management, is responsible for the rapid spread of this invasive species.


Microstegium vimineum Dispersal Spatial spread Spread modeling Maximum likelihood Habitat variation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily S. J. Rauschert
    • 1
  • David A. Mortensen
    • 1
  • Ottar N. Bjørnstad
    • 2
  • Andrea N. Nord
    • 1
  • Nora Peskin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in EcologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Biology, Entomology, Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in EcologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Buenos AiresArgentina

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