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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>