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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Guiden, Peter [1], Gorchov, David [2].

What Role Do White-tailed Deer Play in the Long-Distance Dispersal of Amur Honeysuckle?

Long-distance dispersal is an important aspect of invasive species ecology because it results in new invasion frontiers. We investigated seed dispersal of Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), a prolific invasive shrub in the eastern and midwestern US. Seeds of L. maackii are dispersed by birds, and also survive digestion by white-tailed deer. We plan to project the seed shadow of L. maackii endozoochory through deer, using data from published literature on deer gut retention time and daily movement patterns. This will provide a theoretical expectation of L. maackii long-distance dispersal events, that can be compared to field evidence of dispersal. This evidence will come from L. maackii seedlings germinating from deer pellets collected from woodlots without L. maackii, in west-central Ohio and southeastern Indiana. Each woodlot will be classified based on deer abundance (using the pellet count index), and distance to L. maackii seed source (using GIS). In Dec. 2012 and Jan. 2013 we collected deer pellet groups from Miami University’s Ecology Research Center (ERC), Butler County, Ohio, in order to compare the efficacy of two methods for quantifying germinable seeds: 1) sieving pellet material to isolate L. maackii seeds and placing these on vermiculite, and 2) placing pellet groups directly on vermiculite. Both methods gave identical results: L. maackii seedlings emerged from 31% of pots. We also asked whether deer prefer to browse on fruiting L. maackii branches, by conducting a paired browse preference survey between L. maackii branches with fruits removed and branches with fruits retained at ERC. In 23 of 42 pairs (55%) branches with fruits intact had more new browse, compared to 13 (31%) pairs where branches with fruits removed experienced more browse. However, this difference was not significant (sign test, p=0.13). Thus deer consume L. maackii fruits and seeds when they browse, but seem not to prefer fruiting branches. Ultimately, this study will enhance our understanding of how L. maackii invades new areas, and give new insight into the adverse ecological effects of deer.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Miami University, Botany, 316 Pearson Hall, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA
2 - Miami University, Department of Botany, 316 Pearson Hall, Oxford, OH, 45056, USA

invasive species
Amur honeysuckle
White-tailed deer

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 41
Location: Newberry/Riverside Hilton
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM
Number: 41001
Abstract ID:370
Candidate for Awards:None

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