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Deciduous woodland dynamics following removal of invasive honeysuckle.
Banker, Michele1, Geiger, Donald 1,2, Jablonski, Leanne1, 1 2
ABSTRACT- The Mount Saint John Nature Preserve of the Marianist Environmental Education Center in Greene County, OH is being restored to native vegetation. Aerial views of the 13.4 ha of deciduous woods and old-field taken over the past 25 years show the spread of non-native Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii). Non-native woody plants have been removed by an autumn foliar spray of 1% Roundup herbicide, and year-round by cutting and treating stumps with 20% Roundup. To evaluate management effectiveness, three plots (0.1 ha) were assessed that differed in time since honeysuckle removal (1.5 years, 10 years and never removed). All trees were mapped in size classes: mature (> 18 cm DBH), pole ( 8 - 18 cm DBH), sapling (< 8 cm DBH) and seedling (< 1.5 m height). Herbaceous species were assessed by quadrat sampling. The predominant species are Celtis occidentalis, Fraxinus pennsylvanica and Prunus serotina. Honeysuckle invasion adversely affected species diversity and sapling density. In the plot that was never invaded, species richness was 17 compared with six in the heavily invaded woodlands, while sapling density was 2.8 -fold higher. Ten years following invasive shrub removal, species evenness was 0.81 and richness was 13. Because invasive non-native herbs (Alliaria petiolata) often replace eradicated woody non-natives, we manage successions of invasions by systematic removal. Species diversity and composition results suggest the entire woodland community is recovering from honeysuckle invasions.
KEY WORDS: deciduous woodland, honeysuckle, invasive species, restoration