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IJSTR >> Volume 2- Issue 10, October 2013 Edition

International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research  
International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research

Website: http://www.ijstr.org

ISSN 2277-8616

Assessment Of Plant Invasion And Forest Fires Linkage - A Case Study Of Lantana Camara

[Full Text]



Neena Priyanka, P. K. Joshi



Index Terms: Lantana camara, invasive, national parks, invasion, forest, fire.



Abstract: Invasive species that alter fire regimes are widely recognized as some of the most important system-altering species on the planet. Lantana camara, a pervasive invasive species, is hypothesized to alter fire regimes to greater extent causing damage to ecosystem properties. Thus, to elucidate its relationship with fire, if any, study on species presence and fire occurrences were carried out in present study. Venn diagrams and distance matrix analysis were employed to discern relationship between the two. The study revealed that more than 75% of the fire occurrences overlapped with Lantana camara presence with overlapping percentage exceeding 50%. Also, these regions were characterized with open forest canopy and dense Lantana camara infestations. The distance matrices of fire occurrences and Lantana camara presence ascertained that around 63.33% of measured distances between the two varied between 0-15 km only in both national parks. This confirms that reported occurrences of fire were found to be in close vicinity of species presence. Also, due to Lantana camara close proximity to fire occurrences, propulsion of further fire by providing fuel loads cannot be ruled out. These empirical evidences to some extent support the hypothesis that fire may be driven under presence of invasive species such as Lantana camara and vice versa holds true. The information presented in this research along with further comprehension of the relationship dynamics will allow for better management of Lantana camara invasions that have major ecological, economic and societal implications.



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