Peebles-Spencer , Jessica R , GORCHOV , DAVID L .
Effects of the Invasive Shrub, Lonicera maackii, and a Generalist Herbivore, White-tailed Deer, on Forest Floor Plant Community Composition.
Once an invasive species is introduced to an area, it can become disruptive and detrimental to biological communities. One such invasive plant species is Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii (Rupr.) Herder). Lonicera maackii invasion negatively affects both tree and herb species. White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), an abundant generalist herbivore, is also a factor in driving change in forest composition. In order to assess the effects of L. maackii and deer on forest floor plant composition, pairs of 20m-by-20m deer exclosures and controls were established at each of five sites near Oxford, Ohio. In half of each exclosure and control, L. maackii was removed in 2010, resulting in 20 plots. We determined species identity and cover of plants < 1 m in 18 subplots per plot. We sampled plots in spring and in summer in 2011, 2012 and 2013; data from 2011 are used as baseline. Plot-level species richness was analyzed using methods for split-plot design, using deer exclosure as a whole-plot factor, L. maackii removal as the split-plot factor, and site as a random factor. Deer exclusion had a somewhat significant effect on species richness (P < 0.1) in summer 2012, with higher richness where deer were present. Lonicera maackii removal plots had higher species richness in spring 2012 and 2013 and summer 2012 (all P < 0.05), with higher richness where L. maackii was removed. Richness was not affected by the interaction between deer and L. maackii treatments. To examine patterns of community composition of the plots, we used non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), a type of ordination. Significance of treatment effects was determined using permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA). The effect of deer exclosure was significant (P < 0.05) in spring of 2012 and 2013. The effect of L. maackii removal was significant (P < 0.05) in summer of 2013, but no significant interactions between the treatments were manifest. Indicator species analysis revealed Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) was an indicator of deer exclusion in spring of 2011 and 2012; Lonicera maackii seedlings were an indicator of plots with L. maackii intact and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) was an indicator of plots with L. maackii removed in summer of 2013. This experiment is continuing to determine longer-term responses of the herb layer to deer exclosure and L. maackii removal, and their interaction. Results from this study can inform management for both L. maackii and deer.
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1 - Miami University, Biology, 700 East High Street, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA
2 - Miami University, Biology, 700 East High St., Oxford, Ohio, 45056, United States
Indicator Species Analysis
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Firs South/Boise Centre
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 2:15 PM
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper