Plant community response to the management of an invasive tree.
We designed several treatments to directly control an invasive tree, Chinese tallow [Triadica sebifera (L.) Small] on Parris Island Marine Corps Recruit Depot located in Beaufort, SC. We examined the response of the plant community to four treatment series: (1) control (C), (2) mastication (M), (3) fire (F), and (4) combination of mastication and fire (MF). We found that mastication significantly reduced midstory density of all species. However, without fire, midstory density increased to levels similar to those without mastication within 2 years. The MF treatment reduced midstory density over the course of the study, resulting in an increase in important oak species. The MF treatment also increased ground flora richness, without reducing the richness of regenerating tree species. Our results show that MF resulted in a positive response from the native community.