FOREST DISTURBANCE LEADS TO THE RAPID SPREAD OF THE INVASIVE LEUCAENA LEUCOCEPHALA IN TAIWAN
Keywords: Exotic plants, Ecological invasion, Leucaena leucocephala
Abstract. This study, based on different investigative documents and analytical methods, elucidates spatial distribution of habitats for major invasive exotic plants, Leucaena leucocephala, in Taiwan. Results show that Leucaena leucocephala is most harmful to broad-leaved trees and its invasion directly relates to changes in the physical environment. Leucaena leucocephala can bloom and bear fruits all year round and during the period of seeds sprouting and saplings, the invasion varies greatly among different soil types. Leucaena leucocephala prefers weakly acidic soil, though it grows well with other soil textures and nutrients as well. The average spreading rate of Leucaena leucocephala is 3.55 ha year−1 on abandoned farm land calculated from the aerial photographs taken in 1982, 1992, 2003, and 2007.