Factors associated with the spread of Chinese Tallow in East Texas forestlands


Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera (L.) Small, Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb) is an invasive species that is replacing native ecosystems in areas of eastern Texas. It is imperative that the spatial pattern of the spread of this species be identified, as well as causal mechanisms. To that end, we seek to determine factors that contribute to the spread of Chinese tallow using classification and regression tree (CART) and logistic regression. We also attempt to identify current locations and spread rates across eastern Texas using Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data within major forest types. Distance to formerly infested plots and roads, slope, and disturbances (natural and anthropogenic) were identified as major (either facilitating or impeding) factors for the spread of Chinese tallow across the landscape. The highest probability of occurrence and spread rate of Chinese tallow were found in the oak/ gum/cypress forest type. Continued disturbance, from harvest events or natural disasters will allow the species to continue to spread throughout the region and could threaten overall forest productivity. We also discuss some implications of the continued spread of Chinese tallow on forest management. Forest managers could benefit from this analysis and use it as a guide for monitoring forest types with the highest risk of invasion.

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Fan, Z. , Tan, Y. and Crosby, M. (2012) Factors associated with the spread of Chinese Tallow in East Texas forestlands. Open Journal of Ecology, 2, 121-130. doi: 10.4236/oje.2012.23015.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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