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


    Plant invasion typically occurs within a landscape‐scale framework of abiotic and biotic conditions, often resulting in emergent feedbacks among environment, ecosystem functions, and the dominance of invasive species. Understanding the mechanisms underlying successful invasions is an important component of conservation and management efforts, but this has been poorly investigated in a spatially explicit manner. Knowing where and why invasion patterns change throughout the landscape enables managers to use context‐specific controls on the spread of invasive species. Using high‐resolution airborne imaging spectroscopy, we studied plant performance in growth within and across landscapes to examine the dominance and spatial distribution of an invasive tree, Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava), in heterogeneous environmental conditions of a submontane Hawaiian tropical forest. We assessed invader performance using the GPP ratio index, which is the relative difference in remotely sensed estimates of gross primary productivity between canopies of guava and canopies of the invaded plant community. In addition, we used airborne LiDAR data to evaluate the impacts of guava invasion on the forest aboveground carbon density in different environments. Structural equation modeling revealed that substrate type and elevation above sea level interact and amplify landscape‐scale differences in productivity between the invasive species and the host plant community (GPP ratio); differences that ultimately control levels of dominance of guava. We found shifts in patterns of forest carbon storage based on both gradual increase of invader dominance and changes in environmental conditions. Overall, our results demonstrate that the remotely sensed index defined as the GPP ratio provided an innovative spatially explicit approach to track and predict the success of invasive plants based in their canopy productivity, particularly within a landscape‐scale framework of varying environmental factors such as soils and elevation. This approach may help managers accurately predict where invaders of forests, scrublands, or grasslands are likely to exhibit high levels of dominance before the environment is fully invaded.

    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.


    Barbosa, Jomar M.; Asner, Gregory P.; Hughes, R. Flint; Johnson, M. Tracy. 2017.Landscape-scale GPP and carbon density inform patterns and impacts of an invasive tree across wet forests of Hawaii. Ecological Applications. 27(2): 403-415.


    Google Scholar


    Carnegie Airborne Observatory, ecosystem functions, environmental gradients, forest carbon stock, functional trait, gross primary productivity, invasive species, remote sensing

    Related Search

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