Impact of the invasive shrub Lonicera maackii on stand transpiration and ecosystem hydrology in a wetland forest
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- Boyce, R.L., Durtsche, R.D. & Fugal, S.L. Biol Invasions (2012) 14: 671. doi:10.1007/s10530-011-0108-6
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Invasive shrubs can increase ecosystem transpiration and potentially affect hydrology in forested ecosystems. We examined two adjacent sites in a wetland forest in northern Kentucky, USA. One site contained little Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle), while the other contained considerably more. Using Granier (thermal dissipation) and heat balance probes, transpiration was determined for trees, vines and shrubs at the two sites. Tree and vine transpiration in 2009 was usually 1–2 mm day−1, typical of that seen in humid temperate forests. Additional transpiration from L. maackii was roughly proportional to its basal area, and it totaled 1.0% of tree and vine transpiration from the site with less L. maackii cover and 6.0% from the site with considerable cover. This additional transpiration amounts to roughly 10% of stream flow draining the study area. As L. maackii basal areas at these sites are at the lower end of that seen in other invaded forests in the region, regional impacts on transpiration and hydrology may be larger than those reported here. We expect L. maackii to shorten the lives of ephemeral ponds and streams in wetlands and cause adverse impacts on the organisms, such as amphibians, that require these aquatic environments to complete their life cycle.