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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Wilson, Matthew [1], Freundlich, Anna [1], Martine, Chris [2].

Impacts of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) on native plant diversity in riparian communities along the Susquehanna River.

Invasive species can alter natural communities and out-compete native plants, reducing densities of natives or replacing them completely. This study sought to quantify the impact of Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) on riparian plant communities along the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania. Two study communities, one relatively intact and one invaded by Japanese knotweed, were surveyed. Both areas were sampled across the herbaceous, understory, and canopy layers. Densities and presence/absence were recorded for 30 x 12m plots within each study area. Although a small group of native species appear to be tolerant, results indicate that plots in sites invaded by P. cuspidatum are significantly less species-rich than those in intact plots. Densities of native species are also lower in invaded communities. Recruitment of native tree seedlings appears to be impaired by incursions of P. cuspidata and surveys of mature tree dbh in each site allows us to infer that this has been the case for some time in our study area. The lack of riparian tree recruitment in knotweed-dominated areas is thus likely to facilitate the shift to a "new climax" community. 

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1 - Bucknell University
2 - Bucknell University, Biological Sciences, 203 Biology Building, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA, 570/577-1135

invasive species
seedling recruitment
Polygonum cuspidatum.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 9
Location: Salon 17/18/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 9009
Abstract ID:401
Candidate for Awards:None

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