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A Panax-centric view of invasive species

Abstract

Plant-centric sampling provides a novel approach to quantifying the potential impact of invasive species on native plant species. The aim of this study was to determine the level of exposure of individuals and populations of Panax quinquefolius to invasive plant species using this approach in thirty natural ginseng populations. A high level of invasion was found with 63–70% of ginseng populations containing at least one invasive species. Approximately one-third of all individuals were found in close proximity to invasive plants. The most prevalent invasive species were Rosa multiflora and Berberis thunbergii. The exposure to invasives of plants in different size classes varied among populations. Invasive species presence increased with greater ginseng population sizes and presence of harvest. The abundance of invasives plants within forest interiors near this valuable medicinal herb suggests that the economic and ecological costs of competitive interactions with native species could be high.

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Acknowledgements

Funding for this project was provided by NSF grant DEB-0613611 to J. B. McGraw. We also would like to thank numerous people who contributed to this project, especially landowners, and those assisting with annual censuses - Emily Mooney, Alyssa Hanna, Sara Souther, Adam Martin, Allison Kenyon, Anne Lubbers, Mark Guido, David Kazyak and Clare Maloy.

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Correspondence to Kerry Wixted.

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Wixted, K., McGraw, J.B. A Panax-centric view of invasive species. Biol Invasions 11, 883–893 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-008-9301-7

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Keywords

  • Invasive species
  • Panax quinquefolius
  • American ginseng