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Project ID: 08-1-2-10

Year: 2008

Date Started: 10/01/2008

Date Completed: 09/30/2012

Title: To Burn Or Not To Burn Oriental Bittersweet: A Fire Manager’s Conundrum

Project Proposal Abstract: Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is an introduced liana that has invaded much of the Eastern US and is invading west into the Great Plains. In forests, it can girdle and damage canopy trees. At Indiana Dunes, we have discovered that it is invading non-forested habitats as well. Anecdotal evidence suggests that fire might facilitate its spread but the relationship between fire and this aggressive invader is poorly understood. We propose to investigate the effect of fire on the life history stages of Oriental bittersweet to address the following issues: 1) What fire temperatures cause seed mortality? 2) Does fire modify habitat susceptibility to invasion? 3) Both fire and cutting can cause Oriental bittersweet to resprout. Does the resprouting response differ between these two treatments and can a combination of cutting and pre- or post-fire treatment facilitate its removal? 4) How does Oriental bittersweet abundance vary with fire regime and can we predict the abundance of this species in a fire mosaic landscape based on fire return interval and time since last fire? From these studies managers will be better equipped to understand when and if burning should be conducted to reduce Oriental bittersweet invasion and to predict Oriental bittersweet presence and abundance in a pyric landscape.

Principal Investigator: Noel B. Pavlovic

Agency/Organization: USGS-Geological Survey

Branch or Dept: Lake Michigan Eco-Research Station

Other Project Collaborators




Branch or Dept

Co-Principal Investigator

Stacey Leicht-Young

USGS-Geological Survey

Lake Michigan Eco-Research Station

Co-Principal Investigator

Scott Weyenberg

NPS-National Park Service

Voyageurs National Park

Federal Cooperator

Noel B. Pavlovic

USGS-Geological Survey

Lake Michigan Eco-Research Station

Project Locations

Fire Science Exchange Network

Lake States

Lake States








Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

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
view or print   1057 Government Publication To Burn or Not to Burn Oriental Bittersweet: A Fire Manager’s Conundrum
view or print   1438 Government Publication MWR Fire Ecology--Playing With Fire in Missouri
view or print   1450 Government Publication To Burn or Not to Burn Oriental Bittersweet: A Fire Manager’s Conundrum
  go to website 3692 Journal Article Forest Ecology and Management
view or print   3392 Journal Article Susceptibility of Eastern U.S. Habitats to Invasion of Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet) Following Fire
view or print   4079 Progress Report  
view or print   7206 Photo Oriental bittersweet twining towards the canopy
view or print   7207 Photo Oriental bittersweet in fruit
view or print   7208 Photo Herbicide treated oriental bittersweet stump
view or print   7209 Photo Oak savanna infested with oriental bittersweet
view or print   7210 Photo Fire burning through oriental bittersweet patch
view or print   7211 Photo Root suckers in fire damaged bittersweet root

Supporting Documents

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