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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Collins, Hilary [1], Drenovsky, Rebecca [2].

Shade Tolerance and Early Life History Stages Of a Problematic Invasive, Rosa multiflora Thunb. (Roseaceae).

Invasive biology is a relevant and pressing current topic; however, little research has been focused on the ability of plants to invade forested ecosystems. Previously, forests have been considered resistant to invasive plants, but recent work suggests that forests are susceptible and could be severely impacted by invasives. Rosa multiflora is a common invasive species of edge habitats, and isolated individuals or small populations of R. multiflora also grow in the forest interior. We hypothesized that R. multiflora is shade tolerant, potentially enabling it to become invasive in the forest interior. We compared light levels and shrub density at the forest edge and interior in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, OH. To learn more about the reproductive characteristics of R. multiflora, we recorded the fecundity of select shrubs and took soil samples to determine the number of seeds in the edge and interior seed bank. Although there was no significant difference between shrub density in edge versus interior plots, there was a trend for higher density in edge plots (F= 4.822, P= 0.093). R. multiflora shrubs at the edge did produce significantly more flowers (t =5.7, P< 0.0001) and hips (t= 5.7,P< 0.0001), than in the interior. However, few R. multiflora seeds were found in the seed bank in either edge or interior plots. Evidence of high levels of frugivory of R. multiflora hips by white-tailed deer was observed during the study, which could be facilitating the spread of R. multiflora throughout the forest. Our data suggest that R. multiflora is partially shade tolerant, as it is able to survive and grow vegetatively in the forest interior, although its ability to reproduce is likely limited by shade. In forests where frequent disturbance events occur (which can create canopy gaps), R. multiflora could become problematic.

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1 - John Carroll University, Biology Department, 20700 North Park Blvd, University Heights, OH, 44118, USA
2 - John Carroll University, Biology, 20700 North Park Blvd, University Heights, OH, 44118, USA

Seed bank
forest ecology

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC011
Abstract ID:307

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