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Dendro-ecological Study on Forest Overstory
Productivity in Sites Invaded by Amur Honeysuckle
(Lonicera mackii) in southwestern Ohio
Few studies have examined changes in woody plant
productivity resulting from the presence of invasive
plants in the forest understory. However, recent work
by K.M. Hartman and B.C. McCarthy, published in
"Applied Vegetation Science" in 2007 is apparently the
first study using dendrochronological techniques to
analyze this issue. The researchers studied trees
from 12 sites invaded by Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera
mackii) and 4 non-invaded sites in southwestern Ohio.
The Amur Honeysuckle is a non-indigenous, invasive,
understory species that can dominate the forest
understory. Changes in radial and basal area tree
growth in the ten years prior to L. mackii invasion
vs. ten years following invasion were evaluated in
addition to other factors. They found that the rate
of radial and basal area growth of overstory trees was
reduced significantly in eleven out of twelve invaded
Non-invaded sites did not exhibit this consistent
pattern of reduced growth. For invaded vs. non-invaded
sites, the mean basal area growth was reduced by
15.8%, and the overall rate of basal area growth was
reduced by 53.1%. Active management will likely be
necessary to maintain forest productivity in
landscapes impacted by Amur Honeysuckle.
The complete study report can be viewed and downloaded
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