Spatial segregation of congeneric invaders in central Pennsylvania, USA

Michael R. Allen, Katriona Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carduus acanthoides and Carduus nutans (plumeless and musk thistles) are among the most noxious weeds in the United States of America, presenting a serious challenge in cropping and pasture systems. Unfortunately, a lack of detailed spatial distribution information hampers both our ability to understand the factors affecting their invasive success, and the effectiveness of monitoring and management efforts. To examine patterns of distribution and co-occurrence at a local level, we sampled a 5000 km2 area of central Pennsylvania that cut a transect across known areas of C. acanthoides and C. nutans infestation. A number of potential environmental explanatory variables were recorded and analyzed to examine whether they correlated with observed species distribution patterns. Patterns of forest density and spatial aggregation of the thistles were the primary covariates that significantly impacted both species' distributions. The survey established that the frequency of sightings for each species diminished as the ranges converged, with only brief overlap: the two species are strongly negatively correlated in space. Understanding environmental correlates of infestation and the pattern of spatial dissociation of these two invasive species is an important step towards an improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying their invasive potential, and hence towards effective weed control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-521
Number of pages13
JournalBiological Invasions
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

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Carduus acanthoides
Carduus nutans
biogeography
noxious weeds
invasive species
weed control
pastures
spatial distribution
environmental factors
monitoring
weed
cropping practice
pasture
transect
distribution

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

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Spatial segregation of congeneric invaders in central Pennsylvania, USA. / Allen, Michael R.; Shea, Katriona.

In: Biological Invasions, Vol. 8, No. 3, 01.03.2006, p. 509-521.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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