• Landscape Factors Influencing the Abundance and Dominance of the Invasive Plant Potentilla recta

      Endress, Bryan A.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; Parks, Catherine; Radosevich, Steven R. (Society for Range Management, 2007-05-01)
      Little is known about the relative importance of environmental, biotic, historical, and spatial factors that influence invasive plant abundance, dominance, and distribution across landscapes. We identified factors that influence the abundance and dominance of Potentilla recta L. (sulfur cinquefoil) in bunchgrass grasslands of northeastern Oregon to better understand the conditions under which it becomes a major component of plant communities. We estimated P. recta stem density and dominance from field measurements across the landscape and used classification and regression tree analyses to assess the importance of environmental, biotic, spatial, and historical factors in explaining P. recta presence, stem density, and dominance. Plots were sampled within a systematic grid with 250-m spacing within our 6.5-km2 study landscape. At each sample point we recorded P. recta presence, stem density, and dominance as well as 11 biological, environmental, spatial, and historical variables. P. recta was widely distributed, with stem densities in occupied plots averaging 5.8 stems N m-2 and dominance values ranging from 1% to 52%. Percent cover of bare ground was the most important variable to predict the presence of P. recta, though the model fit was poor, likely because the entire study area is suitable for P. recta establishment. A strong relationship between P. recta dominance and habitat type (r2 = 67.5%) was found, with dominance greatest in old fields on relatively flat slopes (mean dominance of 34.1%). Dominance estimates were < 1% in plots located in forest, shrub, and grassland habitats. Factors that make old fields susceptible to dominance remain unknown, though microsite conditions that increase P. recta seedling survival rates and limited native propagule availability due to previous cultivation may be involved. Since old fields are found throughout the region, are highly susceptible to P. recta invasion, and represent a source of seeds, containment and restoration activities should focus on these areas. 
    • Multiscale Detection of Sulfur Cinquefoil Using Aerial Photography

      Naylor, Bridgett J.; Endress, Bryan A.; Parks, Catherine G. (Society for Range Management, 2005-09-01)
      We evaluated the effectiveness of natural color aerial photography as a tool to improve detection, monitoring, and mapping of sulfur cinquefoil (Potentilla rectaL.) infestations. Sulfur cinquefoil is an exotic perennial plant invading interior Pacific Northwest rangelands. Because sulfur cinquefoil produces distinctive pale yellow flowers, we timed aerial photography for early July, when the plant was at peak bloom. Photography was collected at 3 spatial scales (1:3 000, 1:6 000, and 1:12 000). A grid with 250-m spacing was superimposed over photographs of the entire study area using geographic information systems. At eac hgrid intersection point (n=80), we visually analyzed the photographs within a 404.7-m2 (0.1 acre) circular plot, recorded sulfur cinquefoil presence, and estimated sulfur cinquefoil percent cover. Sample points on the grid were then located in the field using a global positioning system. Field data collected at each point included sulfur cinquefoil presence, percent cover, and stem density; and total vegetation composition and percent cover by life form. Results indicate that the accuracy of detecting sulfur cinquefoil increased from small to large scale. At the 1:3 000 scale, sulfur cinquefoil presence was correctly identified in 76.9% of the sites, whereas at the 1:6 000 and 1:12 000 scales, infestations were identified in 67.9% and 59.1% of the sites, respectively. Low-density infestations (<1% cover) were detected at all scales. Accuracy of percent cover estimates ranged from 33.8% to 38.0% across scales. Although tree canopy hindered detection, our results indicate that aerial photography can be used to detect sulfur cinquefoil infestations in open forests and rangelands in the Intermountain West.  
    • Seed Production and Dispersal of Sulfur Cinquefoil in Northeast Oregon

      Dwire, Kathleen A.; Parks, Catherine G.; Mclnnis, Michael L.; Naylor, Bridgett J. (Society for Range Management, 2006-01-01)
      Sulfur cinquefoil (family Rosaceae) is an invasive, herbaceous perennial, native to Eurasia. It has wide ecological amplitude and has become established throughout North America in numerous habitat types. Sulfur cinquefoil reproduces only by seed (achenes); however, little is known about its regenerative strategy or reproductive biology. To improve understanding of the mechanisms of expansion for sulfur cinquefoil, we quantified seed production and measured seed dispersal at sites infested with sulfur cinquefoil in different habitats in northeast Oregon. Seed dispersal was measured by using sticky traps (30 3 100 cm, replaced every 2 weeks) radiating in 4 cardinal directions from individual source plants. Estimated seed production for 2 years (2001 and 2002) was nearly 4 times higher than previously reported (»6 000 seeds per plant; range » 2 620- 15 150 seeds per plant). For most sites, seed production was similar in both years. However, site, year, and their interaction (site 3 year) had significant influence on flower and stem production. Seeds were dispersed from July through mid- October 2001, although almost 40% of the seeds were captured between mid-July and mid-August. Dispersal followed a classic decay function; approximately 83% of the seeds were captured within 60 cm of the source plants. Once sulfur cinquefoil reaches a site, it appears to spread and persist by releasing numerous seeds near the parent plants, thereby forming increasingly dense stands.