Biological Invasions

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1853–1862 | Cite as

The importance of disturbance by fire and other abiotic and biotic factors in driving cheatgrass invasion varies based on invasion stage

Original Paper

Abstract

Disturbances create fluctuations in resource availability that alter abiotic and biotic constraints. Exotic invader response may be due to multiple factors related to disturbance regimes and complex interactions between other small- and large-scale abiotic and biotic processes that may vary across invasion stages. We explore how cheatgrass responds to both frequency and season of prescribed burning for a 10-year period in ponderosa pine forested stands. To understand interactions of fire disturbance, other abiotic factors, biotic resistance, and propagule pressure, we use long-term data from different spatial scales representing different invasion stages (local establishment or spread and broader scale extent/impact) to model cheatgrass dynamics. We found that after 10 years, cheatgrass cover increased with fall burning regardless of burn frequency (1 burn vs. 3 burns). There was no evidence that cheatgrass invasion is decreasing through time even in areas burned only once. Factors important for explaining local fine-scale cheatgrass establishment and spread, and broader scale extent/impact varied. The spatial extent of the first burns facilitated fine-scale cheatgrass establishment while bare soil cover constrained establishment. Biotic resistance, in the form of native annual forb cover, constrained fine-scale cheatgrass spread. Initial cheatgrass abundance in 2002, a factor related to propagule pressure, was key for explaining the broader scale extent/impact of cheatgrass by 2012. Biotic resistance, in the form of native perennial grass cover, constrained extent/impact but only when initial cheatgrass abundance was low. Our findings regarding factors affecting invasion dynamics may be useful to consider for future restoration and conservation efforts in burned ponderosa pine forests.

Keywords

Propagule pressure Cheatgrass Bromus tectorum Prescribed fire Burn interval 

Supplementary material

10530_2017_1395_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (320 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 320 kb)
10530_2017_1395_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (94 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 94 kb)
10530_2017_1395_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (30 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 30 kb)

References

  1. Abella SR, Craig DJ, Smith SD et al (2012) Identifying native vegetation for reducing exotic species during the restoration of desert ecosystems. Restor Ecol 20:781–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arredondo JT, Jones TA, Johnson DA (1998) Seedling growth of Intermountain perennial and weedy annual grasses. J Range Manag 51:584–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashton IW, Symstad AJ, Davis CJ et al (2016) Preserving prairies: understanding temporal and spatial patterns of invasive annual bromes in the Northern Great Plains. Ecosphere. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1438 Google Scholar
  4. Balch JK, Bradley BA, D’Antonio CM et al (2013) Introduced annual grass increases regional fire activity across the arid western USA (1980–2009). Glob Change Biol 19:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bansal S, Sheley RL (2016) Annual grass invasion in sagebrush steppe: the relative importance of climate, soil properties and biotic interactions. Oecologia 181:543–557CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bansal S, Sheley RL, Blank B et al (2014) Plant litter effects on soil nutrient availability and vegetation dynamics: changes that occur when annual grasses invade shrub-steppe communities. Plant Ecol 215:367–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bates JD, Davies KW (2014) Cattle grazing and vegetation succession on burned sagebrush steppe. Rangel Ecol Manag 67:412–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bates JD, Miller RF, Svejcar T (2005) Long-term successional trends following western juniper cutting. Rangel Ecol Manag 58:533–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beckstead J, Augspurger CK (2004) An experimental test of resistance to cheatgrass invasion: limiting resources at different life stages. Biol Invasions 6:417–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Byun C, de Blois S, Brisson J (2015) Interactions between abiotic constraint, propagule pressure, and biotic resistance regulate plant invasion. Oecologia 178:285–296CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Carlson G (1974) Soil resource inventory basic soil information and interpretive tables: Malheur National Forest. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region, Portland, ORGoogle Scholar
  12. Catford JA, Jansson R, Nilsson C (2009) Reducing redundancy in invasion ecology by integrating hypotheses into a single theoretical framework. Divers Distrib 15:22–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chambers JC, Roundy BA, Blank RB et al (2007) What makes Great Basin sagebrush ecosystems invasible by Bromus tectorum? Ecol Monogr 77:117–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Colautti R, Grigorovich I, MacIsaac H (2006) Propagule pressure: a null model for biological invasions. Biol Invasions 8:1023–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Collinge SK, Ray C, Gerhardt F (2011) Long-term dynamics of biotic and abiotic resistance to exotic species invasion in restored vernal pool plant communities. Ecol Appl 21:2105–2118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Covington WW (2000) Helping western forests heal. Nature 408:135–136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. D’Antonio CM (2000) Fire, plant invasions and global changes. In: Mooney H, Hobbs RJ (eds) Invasive species in a changing world. Island Press, Washington, pp 65–93Google Scholar
  18. D’Antonio C, Meyerson LA (2002) Exotic plant species as problems and solutions in ecological restoration: a synthesis. Restor Ecol 10:703–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. D’Antonio CM, Vitousek PM (1992) Biological invasions by exotic grasses, the grass/fire cycle, and global change. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 23:63–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. D’Antonio CM, Levine J, Thomsen M (2001) Ecosystem resistance to invasion and the role of propagule supply: a California perspective. J Mediterr Ecol 2:233–245Google Scholar
  21. Davies KW (2008) Medusahead dispersal and establishment in sagebrush steppe plant communities. Rangel Ecol Manag 61:110–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Davis MA, Grime JP, Thomas K (2000) Fluctuating resources in plant communities: a general theory of invasibility. J Ecol 88:528–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dietz H, Edwards PJ (2006) Recognition that causal processes change during plant invasion helps explain conflicts in evidence. Ecology 87:1359–1367CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. DiTomaso J, Heise K, Kyser G et al (2001) Carefully timed burning can control barb goatgrass. Calif Agric 55:47–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dukes JS (2002) Species composition and diversity affect grassland susceptibility and response to invasion. Ecol Appl 12:602–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Elton CS (1958) The ecology of invasions by plants and animals. Methuen, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Eschtruth AK, Battles JJ (2009) Assessing the relative importance of disturbance, herbivory, diversity, and propagule pressure in exotic plant invasion. Ecol Monogr 79:265–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Eschtruth AK, Battles JJ (2011) The importance of quantifying propagule pressure to understand invasion: an examination of riparian forest invasibility. Ecology 92:1314–1322CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Fargione J, Brown CS, Tilman D (2003) Community assembly and invasion: an experimental test of neutral versus niche processes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:8916–8920CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Fridley J, Stachowicz J, Naeem S et al (2007) The invasion paradox: reconciling pattern and process in species invasions. Ecology 88:3–17CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Furbush P (1953) Control of medusa-head on California ranges. J For 51:118–121Google Scholar
  32. Hatten JA, Zabowski D, Ogden A et al (2008) Soil organic matter in a ponderosa pine forest with varying seasons and intervals of prescribed burn. For Ecol Manag 255:2555–2565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hatten J, Zabowski D, Ogden A et al (2012) Role of season and interval of prescribed burning on ponderosa pine growth in relation to soil inorganic N and P and moisture. For Ecol Manag 269:106–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Herron CM, Jonas JL, Meiman PJ et al (2013) Using native annual plants to restore post-fire habitats in western North America. Int J Wildl Fire 22:815–821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hobbs RJ, Huenneke LF (1992) Disturbance, diversity, and invasion: implications for conservation. Conserv Biol 6:324–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jeschke JM, Bacher S, Blackburn TM et al (2014) Defining the impact of non-native species. Conserv Biol 28:1188–1194CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Kerns BK, Thies WG, Niwa CG (2006) Season and severity of prescribed burn in ponderosa pine forests: implications for understory native and exotic plants. Ecoscience 13:44–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kerns BK, Buonopane M, Thies WG et al (2011) Reintroducing fire into a ponderosa pine forest with and without cattle grazing: understory vegetation response. Ecosphere. doi:10.1890/ES10-00183.1 Google Scholar
  39. Knapp AK, Seastedt TR (1986) Detritus accumulation limits productivity of tallgrass prairie. Bioscience 36:662–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Levine JM, D’Antonio CM (1999) Elton revisited: a review of evidence linking diversity and invasibility. Oikos 87:15–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Levine JM, Adler PB, Yelenik SG (2004) A meta-analysis of biotic resistance to exotic plant invasions. Ecol Lett 7:975–989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Link SO, Bolton H Jr, Thiede ME et al (1995) Responses of downy brome to nitrogen and water. J Range Manag 48:290–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lowry E, Rollinson EJ, Laybourn AJ et al (2013) Biological invasions: a field synopsis, systematic review, and database of the literature. Ecol Evol 3:182–196CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. McGlone CM, Sieg CH, Kolb TE (2011) Invasion resistance and persistence: established plants win, even with disturbance and high propagule pressure. Biol Invasions 13:291–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McKell CM, Wilson AM, Kay B (1962) Effective burning of rangelands infested with medusahead. Weeds 10:125–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Menke JW (1992) Grazing and fire management for native perennial grass restoration in California grasslands. Fremontia 20:22–25Google Scholar
  47. Monaco TA, Johnson DA, Norton JM et al (2003) Contrasting responses of Intermountain West grasses to soil nitrogen. J Range Manag 56:282–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ojima DS, Schimel DS, Parton WJ et al (1994) Long-term and short-term effects of fire on nitrogen cycling in tallgrass prairie. Biogeochemistry 24:67–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Parsons DJ, Stohlgren TJ (1989) Effects of varying fire regimes on annual grasslands in the southern Sierra Nevada of California. Madrono 36:154–168Google Scholar
  50. Pauchard A, Shea K (2006) Integrating the study of non-native plant invasions across spatial scales. Biol Invasions 8:399–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pinto SM, Ortega YK (2016) Native species richness buffers invader impact in undisturbed but not disturbed grassland assemblages. Biol Invasions 18:3193–3204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Questad EJ, Thaxton JM, Cordell S (2012) Patterns and consequences of re-invasion into a Hawaiian dry forest restoration. Biol Invasions 14:2573–2586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Richardson DM, Pyšek P, Rejmánek M et al (2000) Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions. Divers Distrib 6:93–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shinneman DJ, Baker WL (2009) Environmental and climatic variables as potential drivers of post-fire cover of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in seeded and unseeded semiarid ecosystems. Int J Wildl Fire 18:191–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Smith MD, Knapp AK (1999) Exotic plant species in a C4-dominated grassland: invasibility, disturbance, and community structure. Oecologia 120:605–612CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Smith MD, Knapp AK (2001) Size of the local species pool determines invasibility of a C4-dominated grassland. Oikos 92:55–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Stohlgren TJ, Binkley GW, Chong GW et al (1999a) Exotic plant species invade hot spots of native plant diversity. Ecol Monogr 69:25–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stohlgren TJ, Schell LD, Vanden Heuvel B (1999b) How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands. Ecol Appl 9:45–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Svedarsky WD, Buckley PE, Feiro TA (1986) The effect of 13 years of annual burning on an aspen-prairie ecotone in northwestern Minnesota. In: Clambey GK and Pemble RH (eds) Proceedings of the 9th North American prairie conference: the prairie: past, present and future. Tri-College University, Moorehead, MN and Fargo, ND, pp 118–122Google Scholar
  60. Theoharides KA, Dukes JS (2007) Plant invasion across space and time: factors affecting nonindigenous species success during four stages of invasion. New Phytol 176:256–273CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Thies WG, Westlind DJ, Loewen M (2005) Season of prescribed burn in ponderosa pine forests in eastern Oregon: impact of pine mortality. Int J Wildl Fire 14:223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. van Ruijven J, De Deyn GB, Berendse F (2003) Diversity reduces invasibility in experimental plant communities: the role of plant species. Ecol Lett 6:910–918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wein RW, Wein G, Bahret S et al (1992) Northward invading non-native vascular plant species in and adjacent to Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. Can Field Nat 106:216–224Google Scholar
  64. Wiser SK, Allen RB, Clinton PW et al (1998) Community structure and forest invasion by an exotic herb over 23 years. Ecology 79:2071–2081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wright RJ, Hart SC (1997) Nitrogen and phosphorus availability in a southwestern ponderosa pine forest after 20 years of interval burning. Ecoscience 4:526–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Corvallis Forestry Sciences LaboratoryPacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest ServiceCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, College of ForestryOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

Personalised recommendations