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Invertebrate Abundance, Biomass, and Richness Associated with an Exotic Invasive Shrub (Lonicera morrowii A. Gray)

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Document pages: 26 pages

Abstract: Exoticbush honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.) arebecoming increasingly common in the eastern and mid-western United States, butlittle is known about their impacts on invertebrates. We used a modified leafvacuum to sample invertebrates in the shrub strata and understory of threeshrub types (and open plots in theunderstory): single Morrow’s honeysuckle (L. morrowii A. Gray) shrubs, singlenative southern arrowwood (Viburnum recognitum Fernald) shrubs, and dense thickets of Morrow’s honeysuckle, insouthwestern PA, USA during 2004 and 2005. We also assessed the degree of herbivory on the two species of shrubs. Within the shrub strata, invertebrate biomass waslower in southern arrowwood shrubs, but there was no difference in invertebrateabundance or family richness. Invertebrate abundance and richness were lowest in August, but there was no difference in biomassamong the months. Invertebrate abundance, biomass, and family richnesswere lowest in the understory below dense thickets of Morrow’s honeysuckle.Overall, the percent cover of herbs was the proximate factor responsible fordriving patterns of invertebrate abundance, though ultimately these patternswere being driven by shrub type. Abundance and biomass of larval leaf chewerswere highest in the native shrub; Morrow’s honeysuckle had a mean of 29.7 cm2 of leaf area consumed per 1 m2 of leaf area, while the native shrubhad a mean of 284.3 cm2 of leaf area consumed. Our results suggestthat areas dominated by the exotic shrub negatively impact invertebratebiomass, which may in turn affect organisms at higher trophic levels.

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