Fire and Invasive Plant Management

The controlled burn at Arrowhead Prairie in April 2014.

Influence of Fire on Callery Pear in Managed Prairie Systems

Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is an invasive tree introduced for ornamental purposes. It easily invades disturbed prairies, causing a disruption to natural interactions. The purpose of this research is to assess Callery pear demographics in a restored prairie and measure the effects of a controlled fire management strategy on Callery pear density and recruitment. Adam Warrix (IPFW graduate student) and Jordan Marshall (IPFW faculty member) are conducting the study. The results will be useful to property managers when developing a management strategy for prairies invaded by Callery pear. This research is being conducted at Arrowhead Prairie on Aboite Rd, Fort Wayne, IN, managed by Little River Wetlands Project.

More Photos From the Field

Assessing the prairie before the burn.

Crews begin the controlled burning process.

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Previous Work in the Marshall Lab at IPFW

The (former) forest fragmentation research crew: (left to right) Maja Sljivar (field tech), Alicia DeLeon (undergrad researcher), and Rachel Fuelling (graduate researcher).

Forest Fragmentation and Community Structure

Forest fragmentation in Indiana has occurred primarily due to agricultural development, leaving scattered privately owned forests across the landscape. This research characterized diversity of plant communities in relation to forest fragment size, shape, isolation level, age, human influence, and connection to other forests. Rachel Fuelling (IPFW graduate student), Alicia DeLeon (IPFW undergraduate student), and Jordan Marshall (IPFW faculty member) investigated these relationships. Results from this research will be useful for land owners to develop management strategies that maximize plant diversity. Initial data analysis found positive relationships between plant diversity and forest fragment size. This work was conducted in privately owned forest fragments in Adams, Wells, and Allen Counties. Funding was provided by the Indiana Academy of Science.

More Photos From the Field

Alicia DeLeon (undergraduate researcher) collecting environmental data of soil compaction and soil moisture.
Rachel Fuelling (former graduate researcher) counting plant individuals of the understory in a 5×5 meter plot. Rachel is now enrolled in a PhD program at Louisana State University.
Alicia DeLeon (left, undergraduate researcher) and Maja Sljivar (right, field tech) measuring tree distance and angle from plot center of the overstory.
Rachel Fuelling (graduate researcher) pressing plant species for herbarium record.