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Project ID: 01-3-3-33

Year: 2002

Date Started: 01/29/2002

Date Completed: 08/04/2006

Title: Predicting the Invasion and Survival of the Exotic Species Paulownia tomentosa Following Burning in Pine and Oak-Pine Forests

Project Proposal Abstract: While prescribed fire has become a valuable management tool in recent years, understanding and minimizing the detrimental effects of prescribed fire is becoming critical as its use increases. Of these detrimental effects, invasion by exotic species is among the most alarming since it directly undermines the positive ecological effects produced by prescribed fire. Our proposed project will examine the invasion of Paulownia tomentosa, an exotic tree species; into Park Service and National Forest lands in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. The objectives of our project are to: (1) Determine which lahdscape, watershed, and stand conditions favor the establishment of Paulownia seedlings following burning, and (2) Determine how the survivorship of Paulownia varies with time since burning. The proposed project addresses Task 3 (JFSP RFP 2001-1) by examining how the use of prescribed fire to reduce fuel loads may negatively impacts future landscape characteristics through the proliferation of exotic species. Task 7 (JFSP RFP 2001-1) is addressed sincebetter.understanding of the dynamics of exotic species invasion following fire is essential to making sound fire-management decisions. Data collected at the landscape and watershed levels will be used to determine which geographic areas are more susceptible to Paulownia invasion, and how this susceptibility varies with season of burn. Within stands, data collected along transects will be used to determine how Paulownia establishment varies with microsite characteristics (shading, litter depth, etc.) and how survivorship varies with post-fire stand development. Controlled experiments will be conducted to more closely examine the temporal and microsite characteristics that influence Paulownia germination and short-term survival. Better understanding of these factors will allow managers to better plan the timing and location of prescribed burns to reduce the establishment of Paulownia and better focus post-burn control treatments in areas where Paulownia invasion will be heaviest.

Principal Investigator: Peter S. White

Agency/Organization: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Branch or Dept: Department of Biology

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept


David Danley

Forest Service

Pisgah NF-French Broad Ranger Station


Robert Dellinger

NPS-National Park Service

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Gary Kauffman

Forest Service

Nantahala NF-Nantahala Ranger District


Leon Konz

NPS-National Park Service

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Joan Walker

Forest Service

SRS-Department of Forest Resources

Federal Cooperator

Michael A. Jenkins

Purdue University

Forestry & Natural Resources

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network


There are no project locations identified for this project.

Project Deliverables

Final Report view or print

("Results presented in JFSP Final Reports may not have been peer-reviewed and should be interpreted as tentative until published in a peer-reviewed source.")

  ID Type Title
    605 Computer Model/Software/Algorithm Models predicting Paulownia invasion in response to variations in landscape, temporal, topographic and stand conditions.
    7121 Conference/Symposia/Workshop several presentations on subject have been given.

Supporting Documents

The following supporting documents are available for this project.

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