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The Role of Fuel Breaks in the Invasion of Nonnative Plants

April 28, 2007

Executive Summary

Fuel reduction projects have become an increasingly important component of state and federal fuels management programs. However, an unintended result of some pre-fire fuel manipulation projects may be the introduction of nonnative invasive plants. The establishment of nonnative plants within fuel breaks is a serious concern because the presence of invasive species in areas treated to reduce fuels could make adjacent wildland areas more susceptible to invasion, particularly following widespread disturbances such as fires. This report presents the results of a research project investigating the relationship between fuel reduction treatments and the invasion of nonnative plants. Throughout the rest of this document, we will collectively refer to these treatments as fuel breaks, although we sampled a range of fuel breaks described variously as fuel breaks, shaded fuel breaks, defensible fuel reduction zones, defensible fuel profile zones, fuel reduction projects, fuel management zones, wildfire protection zones, and community protection zones.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2007
Title The Role of Fuel Breaks in the Invasion of Nonnative Plants
DOI 10.3133/sir20065185
Authors Kyle E. Merriam, Jon E. Keeley, Jan L. Beyers
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2006-5185
Index ID sir20065185
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center