Assessment of Nonnative Invasive Plants in the DOE Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park

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The Department of Energy (DOE) National Environmental Research Park at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is composed of second-growth forest stands characteristic of much of the eastern deciduous forest of the Ridge and Valley Province of Tennessee. Human use of natural ecosystems in this region has facilitated the establishment of at least 167 nonnative, invasive plant species on the Research Park. Our objective was to assess the distribution, abundance, impact, and potential for control of the 18 most abundant invasive species on the Research Park. In 2000, field surveys were conducted of 16 management areas on the Research Park (14 Natural Areas, ... continued below

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88 pages

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Drake, S.J. November 5, 2002.

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Description

The Department of Energy (DOE) National Environmental Research Park at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is composed of second-growth forest stands characteristic of much of the eastern deciduous forest of the Ridge and Valley Province of Tennessee. Human use of natural ecosystems in this region has facilitated the establishment of at least 167 nonnative, invasive plant species on the Research Park. Our objective was to assess the distribution, abundance, impact, and potential for control of the 18 most abundant invasive species on the Research Park. In 2000, field surveys were conducted of 16 management areas on the Research Park (14 Natural Areas, 1 Reference Area, and Walker Branch Watershed) and the Research Park as a whole to acquire qualitative and quantitative data on the distribution and abundance of these taxa. Data from the surveys were used to rank the relative importance of these species using the ''Alien Plant Ranking System, Version 5.1'' developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Microstegium (Microstegium vimineum) was ranked highest, or most problematic, for the entire Research Park because of its potential impact on natural systems, its tendency to become a management problem, and how difficult it is to control. Microstegium was present in 12 of the 16 individual sites surveyed; when present, it consistently ranked as the most problematic invasive species, particularly in terms of its potential impact on natural systems. Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) and Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) were the second- and third-most problematic plant species on the Research Park; these two species were present in 12 and 9 of the 16 sites surveyed, respectively, and often ranked second- or third-most problematic. Other nonnative, invasive species, in decreasing rank order, included kudzu (Pueraria montma), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora), Chinese lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneara), and other species representing a variety of life forms and growth forms. Results of this research can be used to prioritize management and research activities related to these invasive taxa on the Research Park as a whole and for specific Natural or Reference Areas. Additional research on the autecology and synecology of each species surveyed is suggested. In particular, research should focus on assessing the impacts of these species on the invaded plant and animal communities and ecosystems. Finally, this ranking system could be used to similarly rank the many other nonnative, invasive species present on the Research Park not included in this study.

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88 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 5 Nov 2002

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2001/113
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/814178 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 814178
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc735719

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • November 5, 2002

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  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • March 30, 2016, 8:16 p.m.

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Drake, S.J. Assessment of Nonnative Invasive Plants in the DOE Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, report, November 5, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc735719/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.