Invasive Species
Impacts of Invasive Plants on Nature Species in the Mid-Valley:
A Case Study in the Luckiamute River Basin, Polk County


INTRODUCTION

Invasive non-native species have become a pervasive problem in western Oregon. Concern for these invaders includes the impact they are having on our native flora. The most abundant concentrations of invasive species typically associated with disturbed areas that have been altered by human activity. As such, disturbed landscapes act as primary conduits for the dispersal of non-native species. Understanding the controls of spatial distribution of invasive plants in the context of disturbance regime is critical for designing effective conservation and restoration plans. The Luckiamute River Basin, located in Polk County, Oregon, provides an exemplary case study for examination of non-native plant invasive patterns in our area.

THIS EXHIBIT

The items included in this exhibit provide an overview or the scope of our research, as well as a sample of the materials that have been generated thus far. These items include research posters, educational and instructional materials, and general information. Project results include:

  • Bedrock control on slope gradients in the Luckiamute Watershed: implications for sediment transport and storage.
  • Geomorphic and anthropogenic controls on adventive species propagation.
  • Common invasive and native plants in western Oregon.
  • Spatial distribution of invasive plant species in response to geomorphic processes and disturbances regime (this poster was co-authored and presented by Katherine Noll while she was an Earth Science major at WOU).
  • Historical land-cover change in the Luckiamute River Basin.
  • Course inclusion and utilization of invasive species research.

PROJECT GOALS

The purpose of this research is to delineate associations between geomorphic (landscape and floods) and anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., road construction, logging, and agriculture), and distribution patterns of invasive non-native plant species in the Luckiamute Watershed of western Oregon. The Luckiamute is associated with a unique combination of geomorphic and land-use conditions that are well-suited for the study of casual factors that control spatial distribution of invasives in the region. The result of this work will form the larger scale predictive models of invasive plant dispersion.

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LOCATION: 3rd Floor
CURATOR: Dr. Bryan Dutton & Dr. Steve Taylor, WOU Science Faculty

This page was modified March 17, 2009 mtc.