Invasion of tallow tree into southern US forests: influencing factors and implications for mitigation.
We identify species-environment relationships to predict the occurrence of Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera (L.) Small) on forestlands in the southern US, where it has emerged as the most pervading, stand-replacing, alien tree species. Tallow invasions are more likely to be observed on low and flat lands, areas adjacent to water and roadways, sites recently harvested or disturbed, younger stands, and private forestlands. The winter extreme minimum temperature tends to restrain tallow northward migration. Increases in both range and severity of tallow invasions are predicted with a warming climate trend, and the situation could be worse if the warming is coupled with an increased frequency and intensity of disturbances. Monitoring and mitigation strategies are proposed to assist this region and other countries threatened by tallow invasions.