Invasion of alien plants in fire-damaged forests at southern boundary of the taiga zone

Anatoliy A. Khapugin, Elena V. Vargot, Gennadiy G. Chugunov, Nikita I. Shugaev


Aim of study: Biological invasions are one of the most important areas of forest research. In this study, we revealed invasibility of fire-damaged forests at the southern boundary of the taiga zone.

Area of study: The Mordovia State Nature Reserve (Central Russia).

Material and Methods: Altogether, 11 square plots of each 100 ×100 m were established in different types of fire-damaged forests. To test plant invasion outside the established plots, field researches were carried out by route method in fire-damaged area of the Mordovia Reserve.

Main Results: Six alien species (Erigeron canadensis, E. annuus, Oenothera biennis, Lactuca serriola, Sambucus racemosa, Viola arvensis) were registered within the established plots in 2011–2014. In addition, two alien invasive plants (Solidago canadensis and Bidens frondosa) were found outside these plots. No differences were detected in invasibility of the tested forest ecosystems.

Research highlights: Among the revealed alien species, Erigeron canadensis, Lactuca serriola and Solidago canadensis are the most invasive plants in forest ecosystems. The first one was observed with a high occurrence frequency and abundance in all forest types tested. The second one has not been differed by abundance, but it characterized by a high competition as well as a large biomass and a large number of seeds. Solidago canadensis penetrated to natural forest ecosystem in a short time period due to closest location of its dispersal centers near the boundary of the Mordovia Reserve. These species are the most probable invaders of the forest ecosystems.

Keywords: Invasive plants; invisibility; post-fire successions; Mordovia State Nature Reserve; wildfire; forest ecosystem.


Invasive plants; invasibility; post-fire successions; Mordovia State Nature Reserve; wildfire; forest ecosystem

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2016253-09461