Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Timothy R. Kuhman; Scott M. Pearson; Monica G. Turner
    Date: 2013
    Source: Biological Invasions 15(3): 613-626
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1020.45 KB)


    Although historic land use is often implicated in non-native plant invasion of forests, little is known about how land-use legacies might actually facilitate invasion. We conducted a 2-year field seeding experiment in western North Carolina, USA, to compare germination and first-year seedling survival of Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. in stands that had been cultivated and abandoned a century earlier and were dominated by tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.), and in paired stands that had never been cultivated and were dominated by oaks (Quercus spp.). Experiments were conducted at five sites with paired tulip poplar and oak stands by varying litter mass (none, low, or high) and litter type (tulip poplar or oak). We also performed reciprocal soil translocations using pots seeded with C. orbiculatus. Soil moisture and temperature were measured throughout the growing season. Germination and survival were highest in the tulip poplar stands. Germination was also higher in plots with low litter mass. Seedling survival was highest in plots with low litter mass or no litter. Soil moisture was higher in tulip poplar stands and under low-mass litter. Differences in germination and survival among the potted plants were minimal, suggesting that soil type and ambient site conditions were less important than litter conditions for C. orbiculatus establishment. Our results suggest that the low litter mass and mesic soil conditions that are characteristic of tulip poplar stands may confer higher invasibility and explain the higher abundance of C. orbiculatus in areas with successional overstory communities associated with historically cultivated forests.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Kuhman, Timothy R.; Pearson, Scott M.; Turner, Monica G. 2013. Why does land-use history facilitate non-native plant invasion? A field experiment with Celastrus orbiculatus in the southern Appalachians. Biological Invasions 15(3): 613-626. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-012-0313-y.


    Google Scholar


    Oriental bittersweet, Liriodendron tulipifera, Exotic species, Invasibility, Leaf litter, Soil moisture

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page