Recolonization of native and invasive plants after large-scale clearance of a temperate coastal dunefield

Authors: Daehyun Kim*, Seoul National University, Jung-Yun Lee, Ecology & Spatial Information Institute, Jongcheol Seo, Daegu Catholic University, Insang Song, Seoul National University
Topics: Biogeography, Applied Geography, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Biological invasions, Coastal dune management, Spatial distribution, Ecological-Niche Factor Analysis, Sindu
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Tyler, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In the management of alien invasive plants in coastal dunes, plot-based approaches have generally been adopted: researchers establish a set of experimental (often topographically homogeneous) plots of a given size where the plants are removed, and recovery patterns are monitored for a period of time. Therefore, the literature still lacks a detailed understanding of where (i.e., under what topographic circumstances) native and invasive species are likely to recolonize after clearance of a large dunefield. In this study, we report on an unprecedented case from the Sindu dunefield in western Korea in which both native and invasive plants had been thoroughly removed to bare sand over a vast area (ca. 11.0 ha), followed by in situ exhaustive mapping of regeneration patterns throughout the entire cleared zone twelve times within four years. The results showed that, after removal, natives and invaders increased to occupy larger (> 50%) areas than those in the pre-removal state. Furthermore, Ecological-Niche Factor Analysis revealed that these two vegetation types exhibited markedly and significantly contrasting regeneration hotspots: invasive plants expanded primarily in low-lying sites that were close to trails. These findings indicate that the recolonization of invasive species was not a spatially random process but rather concentrated along the trails through which local employees transported removed plant material, inadvertently dropping invader propagules. We conclude that removal is often costly, and if executed without a careful plan for the movement of workers, equipment, and plant debris, these efforts may even increase the extent of invasions beyond the initial state.

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