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
Suggested citation for this article:
Merriam, K. E., T. W. McGinnis, and J. E. Keeley. 2004. The role of fire and fire management in the invasion of nonnative plants in California. Park Science 22(2):32–36,52.
Available at http://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/archive/PDF/Article_PDFs/ParkScience22(2)Fall2004_32-36_52_Merriam_et_al_2434.pdf.
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