Effects of Fires on the Invasiveness of Lantana camara in Forest Plantations

by Open Science Repository Natural Resources and Conservation
(October 2013)


This study investigated the contribution of fires to the invasive potential of Lantana camara in a forest plantation. The objectives of the study were to (i) Compare the abundance and species richness of plants beneath the canopy of Lantana camara in the burned compartment and unburned compartments and (ii) Compare the diversity of plant species in the burned and unburned compartments. In each compartment, three transects were laid two meters apart underneath thick shrubs of Lantana camara. Plant species richness and abundance were assessed in quadrats systematically laid along each transect at an interval of two meters in the respective compartments. The findings indicated that Lantana camara was more invasive in the burned compartment than unburned compartment. Plant species diversity was higher in the unburned compartment compared to the burned compartment. Therefore Lantana camara has a high invasive potential in the burned compartment than in the unburned compartment. Burning as a method of control for Lantana camara should be greatly reduced because it enhances the ability of Lantana camara to out compete plant species in forest plantations. There is a need to study the relationship between Lantana camara, Oplismenus hirtellus and Ageratum conyzoides to determine the integrated loss these species impact on other plant species.

Keywords: forest fires, invasive species, Lantana camara, species abundance.

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Effects of Fires on the Invasiveness of Lantana camara in Forest Plantations

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