Terrestrial invasive plants and fire
Document Type: Fact Sheet / Brief / Bulletin
Author(s): Jennifer M. Fill; Raelene M. Crandall
Publication Year: 2019

Cataloging Information

  • fire management
  • fire sensitivity
  • invasive species
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: September 18, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 58618


Invasive plants vary in their sensitivity to fire during the invasion process. Some species are sensitive to fire management at all stages. Both seeds and non-sprouting adult plants experience high mortality after fire such that the species is unable to reproduce, spread, and become dominant in fire-frequented environments. In other cases, invasive species are resilient to occasional fire. Fire can stimulate germination in these species and promote spread, but fires that occur too frequently or before plants begin to reproduce can kill adult plants, deplete the seed bank, and prevent dominance at a site. Some species are unaffected or even promoted by fire. These species are often the most difficult to control, because they tend to survive fire by resprouting followed by rapid growth and sometimes abundant seed production that allows them to quickly gain dominance. Fire-plant relationships can change over time and are influenced by the environmental context, including the native community assemblage, soil fertility and hydrology, and presence of pests and pathogens.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (1.3 MB; pdf)
Fill, Jennifer M.; Crandall, Raelene M. 2019. Terrestrial invasive plants and fire. SFE Fact Sheet 2019-2. Southern Fire Exchange. 4 p.