Zhaofei Fan, W. Keith Moser, Michael K. Crosby, Weiming Yu, Yaoqi Zhang, Mark H. Hansen, Shirley X. Fan


The rapid determination of invasion stages and the degree to which an invasive plant (IP) has become established and spread in an ecosystem (“invasivenessâ€) is essential for developing methods of mitigation and control. We mapped the invasion stages and quantified the invasiveness of four IPs of great concern, multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunb.), nonnative bush honeysuckles (including four species from the Lonicera spp family), common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.), and garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata [M. Bieb.] Cavara & Grande) in the Upper Midwest forestlands. Specifically, we used the product of the estimated presence probability and mean cover rate of an IP from a group of Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) plots in a county to represent its severity or area occupied. We then calculated the empirical cumulative density function (ECDF) of the occupied area and used classification and regression tree (CART) to classify the ECDF into a number of disjoint segments to spatially represent invasion stages of an IP. The invasiveness of an IP in three major forest type groups was then investigated via regression analysis of the change in the estimated mean cover rate with the estimated presence probability across the mapped invasion stages (a proxy for invasion time). This study demonstrates the feasibility of using data from a single time period for determining invasion stages and invasiveness of IPs for the rapid deployment of controlling or eradicating measures.


empirical cumulative density funtion; CART; FIA; invasive plant

Full Text:



Andersen, O., T.R. Crow, S.M. Lietz, and F. Stearns. 1996. Transformation of a landscape in the upper mid-west, USA: the history of the lower St. Croix river valley, 1830 to present. Landsc Urban Plan. 35: 247–267.

Anderson, M.P. and M.K. Crosby. 2018. An assessment of invasive plants on Shorter University’s campus. Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural Resource Science (MCFNS), 10(1): 24-29. Retrieved from:

Becker, R.H., K.A. Zmijewski, and T. Crail. 2012. Seeing the forest for the invasives: mapping buckthorn in oak openings. Biological Invasions 15(2): 315-326.

Blackburn, T.M., P. Pyšek, S. Bacher, J.T. Carlton, R.P. Duncan, V. Jarošík, J.R.U. Wilson, and D.M. Richardson. 2011. A proposed unified framework for biological invasions. Trends Ecol & Evol. 26: 333-339.

Breiman, L., J.H. Friedman, R.A. Olshen, and C.J. Stone. 1984. Classification and regression trees. Wadsworth: Belmont, California.

Catford, J.A., P.A. Vesk, D.M. Richardson, and P. Pysek. 2012. Quantifying levels of biological invasion: towards the objective classification of invaded and invasible ecosystems. Global Change Biology. 18: 44-62.

Davis, M.A. 2009. Invasion biology. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK.

Delcourt, H.R., and P.A. Delcourt. 2000. Eastern deciduous forests. In: Barbour MG, Billings WD (eds) North American terrestrial vegetation, Cambridge University Press: New York. pp. 357–395.

Dieser, P.J., and A.R. Ek 2011. Cloquet Forestry enter continuous forest inventory for 2000: analysis and integration with the historical database. Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. Staff Paper Series No. 214.

Eviner, V.T., K. Garbach, J.H. Baty, and S.A. Hoskinson. 2012. Measuring the effects of invasive plants on ecosystem services: challenges and prospects. Invasive Plant Science and Management. 5: 125–136.

Fan, Z., W.K. Moser, M.H. Hansen, and M.D. Nelson. 2013. Regional patterns of major nonnative invasive plants and associated factors in upper Midwest forests. For Sci. 59: 38–49.

Frelich, L.E., and P.B. Reich. 1995. Neighborhood effects, disturbance, and succession in forests of the Western Great Lakes region. Ecoscience. 2:148–158.

Gilliam, F.S. 2007. The ecological significance of the herbaceous layer in temperate forest ecosystems. BioScience. 57: 845–858.

Guo, Q., S. Fei, J.S. Duke, C.M. Oswalt, B.V. Iannone III, and K.M. Potter. 2015. A unified approach for quantifying invisibility and degree of invasion. Ecology. 96: 2613-2621.

Henderson, S., T.P. Dawson, and R.J. Whittaker. 2006. Progress in invasive plants research. Prog Phys Geog. 30: 25–46.

Hobbs, R. J., and S.E. Humphries. 1995. An integrated approach to the ecology and management of plant invasions. Conservation Biology. 9: 761–770.

John, M., and B. John. 2003. Data analysis and graphics using R: an example-based approach. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Macdonald, I.A.W. 1994. Global change and alien invasions: implications for biodiversity and protected area management, In: Solbrig OT, van Emden PG, van Oordt WJ (eds) Biodiversity and global change. CAB International, Wallingford-Oxon, UK. pp 197-207.

Maindonald, J., and J. Braun. 2007. Data analysis and graphics using R: an example-based approach, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Martin, P.H., C.D. Canham, and P.L. Marks. 2008. Why forests appear resistant to exotic plant invasions: intentional introductions, stand dynamics, and the role of shade tolerance. Front Ecol Environ. 7(3):142-149.

McRoberts, R.E. 1999. Joint annual forest inventory and monitoring system: the North Central perspective. J For. 97:27–31.

Moody, M.E., and R.N. Mack. 1988. Controlling the spread of plant invasions: the importance of nascent foci. J Appl Ecol. 25:1009 -1021.

Moser, W.K., M.H. Hansen, M.D. Nelson, and W.H. and McWilliams. 2009. Relationship of invasive groundcover plant presence to evidence of disturbance in the forests of the upper midwest of the United States. In: Kohli RK, Jose S, Singh HP, Batish DR (eds) Invasive plants and forest ecosystems. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 29–58.

Moser, W.K., Z. Fan, M.H. Hansen, M.K. Crosby, and S.X. Fan. 2016. Invasibility of three major nonnative shrubs and associated factors in Upper Midwest U.S. forest lands. For Ecol Manag. 379:195-205.

Oliver, C.D., and B.C. Larson. 1996. Forest stand dynamics, update edn. Wiley, New York.

Pearson, D. E., Y.K. Ortega, Q. Eren, and J.L. Hierro. 2016. Quantifying “apparent†impact and distinguishing impact from invasiveness in multispecies plant invasions. Ecological Applications. 26: 162-173.

Pimentel, D., R. Zuniga, and D. Morrison. 2005. Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecol Econ. 52: 273–288.

R Development Core Team. 2011. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria: 2011,

Radosevich, S.R. 2007. Plant invasions and their management. Chapter 3 in: Center for Invasive Plant Management (ed.) Invasive plant management: CIPM online textbook. Center for Invasive Plant Management, Bozeman, MT. Available online: (Accessed 18 October 2008).

Richardson, D.M., P. Pyšek, M. Rejmanek, M.G. Barbour, F.D. Panetta, and C.J. West. 2000. Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions. Diversity & Distrib. 6: 93-107.

Sander, I.L., and F.B. Clark. 1971. Reproduction of upland hardwood forests in the central states. Agric Handb 405. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC.

Soucy, R.D., E. Heitzman, and M.A. Spetich. 2005. The establishment and development of oak forests in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Can J For Res. 35: 1790–1797.

Theoharides, K.A., and J.S. Dukes. 2007. Plant invasion across space and time: factors affecting nonindigenous species success during four stages of invasion. New Phytol. 176: 256–273.

Therneau, T.M., and E.J. Atkinson. 2012. An introduction to recursive partitioning using the rpart routine. (Accessed 14 May 2018).

Van Haverbeke, D.F. 1990. Populus deltoides var. occidentalis Rybd. Plains cottonwood. In: Burns RM, Honkala BH (tech coords) Silvics of North America, Volume 2, Hardwoods. Agric Handb 654. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington DC. pp 537–543.

Webster, C.R., M.A. Jenkins, and S. Jose. 2006. Woody invaders and the challenges they pose to forest ecosystems in the eastern United States. J. For. 104: 366–374.

Williamson, M., and A. Fitter. 1996. The varying success of invaders. Ecology. 77: 1661-1666.

Woudenberg, S.W., B.L. Conkling, B.M. O’Connell, E.B. LaPoint, J.A. Turner, and K.L.Waddell. 2010. The Forest Inventory and Analysis database: Database description and users manual version 4.0 for Phase 2. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-245. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO.

Yu, W. 2011. Constructing spatial weight matrix using local spatial statistics and its applications. Masters thesis, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


© 2008 Mathematical and Computational Forestry & Natural-Resource Sciences