Survey to evaluate escape of Eucalyptus spp. seedlings from plantations in southeastern USA

Abstract

Interest in biomass-based energy in the southeastern Unites States has led to increased need for fast-growing tree species. Several Eucalyptus species exhibit characteristics that make them attractive in the bioenergy context. However, some of these also possess traits that suggest they could become invasive. To make a preliminary assessment of the risk of seedling establishment in the vicinity of Eucalyptus plantations, we conducted surveys at 3 sites in South Carolina and 16 sites in Florida. In South Carolina, no seedlings were detected in any sample transect. In Florida, we found seedlings within the boundaries of Eucalyptus plantations at 4 of the 16 sites surveyed. We also detected seedlings outside the boundaries of these same four plantations, but only two seedlings were detected at distances >45 m from plantation boundaries. All seedlings from Florida were either E. amplifolia, E. robusta, or E. grandis. The most predictive variable evaluated was latitude, with 27ºN being the highest latitude at which seedlings established with regularity. Results of this survey indicate that, under current conditions, the spread of Eucalyptus spp. from plantations should be possible to manage with appropriate monitoring, but this should be evaluated further before Eucalyptus spp. are adopted for widespread planting.

  • Citation: . . Survey to evaluate escape of Eucalyptus spp. seedlings from plantations in southeastern USA. International Journal of Forestry Research 2013(946374):1-10.

Requesting Publications

You can order print copies of our publications through our publication ordering system. Make a note of the publication you wish to request, and visit our Publication Order Site.

Publication Notes

  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unuseable.
  • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.