Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Northwestern United States could face more tamarisk invasion by century's end

17.09.2009
Models show habitat of the aggressive invasive plant likely will expand as temperature warms

If the future warming trends that scientists have projected are realized, one of the country's most aggressive exotic plants will have the potential to invade more U.S. land area, according to a new study published in the current issue of the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management. The study found that tamarisk—prevalent today in some parts of the region, but generally limited to warm and dry environments—could expand its range into currently uninvaded areas.

"Results of our study suggest that a little over 20 percent of the Northwest east of the Cascade Mountains supports suitable tamarisk habitat, but less than one percent of these areas is currently occupied by the species," said Becky Kerns, a research ecologist with the Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center (WWETAC) who led the study. "That means the remainder is highly vulnerable to invasion right now with the situation potentially getting worse as favorable conditions for tamarisk may expand under climate change."

These findings translate into a two- to ten-fold increase in highly suitable tamarisk habitat in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho by the end of the century.

Tamarisk, also known as "saltcedar," is a deciduous shrub or small tree that grows quickly, reproduces profusely, and tolerates drought and salty conditions, making it capable of easily displacing native species. It also sheds flammable leaves that serve as potential fuel, significantly increasing an area's wildfire risk. The plant was intentionally introduced to the West in the 1800s as an ornamental, windbreak, shade, and erosion control species and today can be found growing prolifically in the Northwest in the central Snake River Plain, Columbia Plateau, and Northern Basin and Range.

"Tamarisk is not a newcomer to the Northwest," Kerns said. "But most people are surprised that it is found here and that it forms extensive stands along certain portions of our arid waterways."

In the study, Kerns and her Forest Service and Oregon State University colleagues compiled distribution data for all species of tamarisk in the region and used the information to develop habitat suitability maps, which helped to identify those areas most susceptible to invasion. They then projected differences in habitat resulting from a changing climate to determine how the plant's habitat and distribution may change in the future.

Their projections indicated that, although most of the region maps as low habitat suitability for tamarisk, suitable and unoccupied habitat prone to invasion exists. Large, relatively uninvaded areas—including the Columbia, Okanagon, Yakima, upper John Day, Deschutes, lower Salmon, upper Owyhee, and lower Snake Rivers and their tributaries—appear to be especially vulnerable to infestation from adjacent populations.

"It's important to acknowledge that considerable uncertainty exists surrounding future climate change," Kerns said. "But our results provide a useful starting point for discussing the emerging threat of this highly invasive species in relation to climate change."

To read a summary of the study online, visit http://wssa.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi

=10.1614%2FIPSM-08-120.1.

The WWETAC is part of the PNW Research Station, which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The station has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 425 employees.

Yasmeen Sands | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fs.fed.us

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>