, Volume 139, Issue 3, pp 359–375 | Cite as

The invasive shrub, Lonicera maackii , reduces growth and fecundity of perennial forest herbs

  • Kara E. Miller
  • David L. GorchovEmail author
Population Ecology


Effects of invasive plant species on native plant species are frequently assumed or inferred from comparisons, but rarely quantified experimentally. Such quantification is important to assessing risks and impacts of invasives. We quantified the effects of Lonicera maackii, an exotic shrub invasive in many eastern North American forests, on survival, growth, and reproduction of three perennial herbs: Allium burdickii, Thalictrum thalictroides , and Viola pubescens. We predicted that the spring ephemeral, A. burdickii , would be most impacted, due to early leaf expansion of L. maackii. Field experiments were carried out in two deciduous forest stands, one (Gregg’s Woodlot, GW) disturbed and the other (Western Woods, WW) relatively undisturbed. In each stand, individual herbs were transplanted into a blocked design of 60 plots where L. maackii was present, absent, or removed, and monitored for 5 growing seasons. Lonicera maackii did not affect survival of transplants, but reduced growth and final size of individuals of all three species. For two of the species, A. burdickii and V. pubescens, L. maackii reduced the proportion of live plants flowering in both stands, and reduced the seed or fruit number per flowering individual in GW. For T. thalictroides the proportion flowering was not affected, but seed number per flowering plant was reduced by L. maackii in both stands. For all three species, cumulative seed production over the course of the study was reduced by L. maackii. Overall, effects on the spring ephemeral, A. burdickii, were similar to effects on the other herbs. Because mortality of these established individuals was not affected, short-term studies might conclude forest herbs are unaffected by invasive shrubs. However, the growth and reproduction impacts documented here suggest that populations are impacted in the long-term.


Allium burdickii Competition experiment Exotic plants  Thalictrum thalictroides  Viola pubescens 



This research was supported by State of Ohio Academic Challenge Grants administered by the Miami University Department of Botany, the Miami University Summer Scholars Program, and by W.J. and J.W. Hagedorn. We thank the Miami University Natural Areas Committee and Thomas Gregg for access to field sites. We are very grateful to Andrew Gould for establishing plots and constructing exclosures, to Karen Doersam, Katie Dowell, Joe Liszewski, and Andrew Ertley for the season of field work each contributed, and to K. Summerville, M. Edelen, H. Richards, S. Beiting, E. Notman, and R. Hrenko for additional field work. Mike Hughes provided substantial guidance on statistical analyses and wrote the SAS code for the ZIP analyses; John Bailer, Anne Bartuszevige, and Bryan Endress also provided input on statistical analyses. Major portions of this work were completed as part of Kara Miller’s master’s degree at Miami University. We thank A. Bartuszevige, B. Endress, M. Vincent, N. Smith-Huerta, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyMiami UniversityOxfordUSA
  2. 2.Applied Ecological Services Inc.West DundeeUSA

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