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Invasive plant management on non-industrial forest lands in the Panhandle, FL after Hurricane Michael.
Hurricane Michael had catastrophic socio-ecological impacts on landowners and forestlands in the Panhandle, Florida. Although scientists predict an increase in the spread of invasive species after ecological disturbances, there is limited research about the human dimensions of hurricanes, invasive plants, and forest management. To address this research gap, we administered mail survey to 1,000 randomly selected non-industrial forest landowners that live in the ten most affected Counties in the Panhandle, Florida. We found that 34% of respondents indicated an increase in invasive plants on their properties while 82% experienced timber loss, 62% had damaged wildlife habitats and 53% had increased vulnerability to wildfire hazards following Hurricane Michael. Our bivariate analysis found that landowners who plan to manage invasive plants in the future: are concerned about invasive plants, have some familiarity with invasives, were likely to search for forest management information on the Internet and also had plans to reforest areas of their land that were not salvage harvested after the hurricane. Although 79% of landowners were concerned about invasive plants on their forestlands, 37% of them have little to no knowledge about invasive plants. Additionally, most landowners did little to no forest management to prepare for hurricanes. However, the higher percentage of landowners who did any of the recommended management activities were also members of an environmental, conservation, industry, or woodland owners’ organization. While most landowners intend to manage invasive plants on their forestlands in the next five years, the vast majority of landowners are not connected to any forestry professionals or landowner associations. This presentation will highlight the perceptions of non-industrial forest landowners about invasive plant management including their awareness, concerns, management, and overall forest restoration plans in the Panhandle.

Oct 19, 2022 01:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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