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Relationship between Invasive Plant Species and Forest Fauna in Eastern North America
Department of Forestry, Center for Ecology, 1205 Lincoln Drive–MC 4411, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2012; in revised form: 24 August 2012 / Accepted: 24 August 2012 / Published: 12 September 2012
Abstract: Invasive plant species have long been known to cause extensive damage, both economically and ecologically, to native ecosystems. They have historically been introduced by the public, both intentional and not, for a variety of reasons. Many of the woody shrubs, such as Lonicera maackii and Rosa multiflora were introduced for wildlife cover, forage, and ornamental value. These invasives have quickly out-competed native flora, in many cases drastically impacting and changing the environment they inhabit. In this review, chosen species characteristics have been described, their pathway to invasion explained, and their impacts to native wildlife highlighted. Based on a review of the scientific literature, we determined that not all effects by invasive plants are negative. Many positive impacts can be seen throughout the literature, such as native frogs utilizing Microstegium vimineum for cover and nesting habitat. However, some important invasive plant species were not included in this review due to a lack of literature on the subject of the effects on fauna. While much is known about their economic impact and the impact on native plant species, additional work needs to be done in the field of wildlife research to determine current impacts and future implications of non-native, invasive plants on native fauna.
Keywords: biological invasion; non-native; wildlife; invasive shrubs; weeds
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Hayes, S.J.; Holzmueller, E.J. Relationship between Invasive Plant Species and Forest Fauna in Eastern North America. Forests 2012, 3, 840-852.
Hayes SJ, Holzmueller EJ. Relationship between Invasive Plant Species and Forest Fauna in Eastern North America. Forests. 2012; 3(3):840-852.
Hayes, Stephanie J.; Holzmueller, Eric J. 2012. "Relationship between Invasive Plant Species and Forest Fauna in Eastern North America." Forests 3, no. 3: 840-852.