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Volume 22
Number 2
Fall 2004
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A USGS researcher records fire behavior as a prescribed burn moves through a cheatgrass plot in Kings Canyon National Park.<br>
CREDIT: USGS PHOTO BY TOM MCGINNIS The role of fire and fire management in the invasion of nonnative plants in California
By Kyle E. Merriam, Tom W. McGinnis, and Jon E. Keeley
Published: 14 Nov 2014 (online)  •  25 Nov 2014 (in print)
Pages
 
Abstract
  Introduction
The link between invasive nonnative species and fire and fire management strategies
Maintaining fire and fire management while decreasing the risk of invasive nonnative plant species
Developing alternative strategies
USGS study of fire and cheatgrass in Kings Canyon National Park
USGS study of pre-fire fuel manipulation and nonnative plant species
Management implications
Conclusion
Literature cited
About the authors
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Introduction

Invasive nonnative plants threaten natural resources throughout the National Park System. Nonnative plant species infest an estimated 4,600 new acres (1,863 ha) of federal land each day (National Park Service 1996), and National Park Service (NPS) policy directs resource managers to develop strategies to control or eliminate nonnative species. However, eradicating nonnative plants has proven to be difficult. One significant challenge is that fire and fire management strategies may be promoting the invasion of nonnative plants in some ecosystems. This is a serious dilemma for resource managers because fire is an important natural process and critical resource management tool on many NPS-administered lands.

Fire and fire management strategies may be promoting the invasion of nonnative plants in some ecosystems.

In this article we describe research being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division (USGS-BRD), to address the role of fire and fire management programs in the invasion of nonnative plants. We are studying how nonnative plants respond to fire and fire management strategies, and investigating the factors that influence this response. We hope this information will allow NPS resource and fire managers to develop fire management strategies that maintain the important role of fire within the National Park System, while also reducing the negative impacts of many nonnative plant species.

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This page updated:  26 October 2006
URL: http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/index.cfm?ArticleID=118&Page=1



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The challenge of effectively addressing the threat of invasive species to the National Park System
A retrospective on NPS invasive species policy and management
Assessing the invasive species issue
  The role of fire and fire management in the invasion of nonnative plants in California
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Under water and out of sight: Invasive fishes in the United States
Ecological effects of animal introductions at Channel Islands National Park
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