Come from away: non-native plant establishment within the boreal forest region of Newfoundland, Canada

Sullivan, Jennifer (2020) Come from away: non-native plant establishment within the boreal forest region of Newfoundland, Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The early movement of Western Europeans to the island of Newfoundland has caused it to have one of the longest North American histories of continuous plant species introductions; one measured in centuries. Yet, we know little about the invasiveness of Newfoundland’s non-native vascular flora, or of the ability of the island’s boreal forests to resist their establishment. Anthropogenic linear disturbances (i.e., recreational trails and forest roads), pervasive throughout North American boreal forests, are particularly vulnerable to the establishment of non-native plant species and may act as corridors of invasion. We examined presence of non-native plants along anthropogenic linear disturbances within boreal forests of Newfoundland, and assessed the resistance of adjacent boreal forests to non-native plant establishment. We found that non-native plants occurred on the majority of observed linear disturbances. Yet, non-native species have not yet established within adjacent forest stands. Additionally, we examined presence of non-native plants on natural linear disturbances, i.e., stream banks, and found that non-native species are pervasive along these corridors. Under ongoing global change, our findings show that the stage is set for non-native plant establishment within disturbed areas of the boreal forest of Newfoundland, as the increased pressures from climate change, globalization, and natural and anthropogenic disturbances continue to influence the distribution and establishment of these species.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14898
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: non-native, invasive, boreal forest, introductions, riparian, disturbance, anthropogenic
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Geography
Date: October 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Exotic plants--Newfoundland and Labrador; Alien plants--Newfoundland and Labrador; Taiga ecology--Newfoundland and Labrador; Trails--Environmental aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador; Forest roads--Environmental aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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