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Wildfire and Invasive Plants in Alaska’s Boreal Forest
August 22 @ 11:00 am to 12:00 pm AKDT
Speakers: Katie Spellman, Christa Mulder, and Taylor Seitz (University of Alaska Fairbanks)
A warmer climate, increased human disturbance and transport, increased propagule pressure from growing non-native plant populations, and increased areas disturbed by wildfire have created a perfect storm of conditions for the spread of non-native plant species into Alaska’s boreal forest. Previous studies have primarily concentrated on short-term relationship (less than 5 years) between wildfires and non-native species, leaving a significant gap in our understanding of long-term implications. This presentation will highlight the current status of in non-native plant invasions in burned areas of Alaska’s boreal forest region and ongoing research efforts studying long-term trends. We will also provide an overview of what factors influence the vulnerability of boreal forests to non-native plant invasions along with how non-native plants are reaching affected habitat.