Research Publication Title

Effects of Chinese Privet (Lingustrum sinese) on Native Tree Growth in Milledgeville, GA

Major

Environmental Sciences

Faculty Mentor(s)

Christine Mutiti

Abstract

Lingustrum sinese is an aggressive species that is capable of taking over areas in which it is found. Lingustrum was first introduced in the United States in 1852 as an ornamental shrub and is still commonly used as a hedge in residential areas. The plant has an increased ability to tolerate poor environmental conditions, which is one of the reasons as to how it invades so rapidly, and currently widely invaded natural areas in many parts of North Eastern United States. In this study, we examined its effects on native forest structure and composition at the Oconee River Greenway in Milledgeville, Georgia. GIS analysis was also used alongside field visitation to map the extent of privet in the area. Tree cores were sampled from Acer negundo (Boxelder), Celtis laevigata (Sugarberry), and Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore) at sites with and without privet. The rings of the cores were then compared to see if the rate of tree growth differed between sites with heavy privet presence and those with less or no privet. We also compared tree density and species richness between the sites. Preliminary results indicate that L. sinese has a negative impact on plant abundance, native species richness, and rate of native tree growth. This finding shows the need for management strategies that minimize and/or eliminate this invasive species from native forests in order to allow for thriving forest ecosystems.

Start Date

10-4-2015 11:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 12:15 PM

Location

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

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Apr 10th, 11:30 AM Apr 10th, 12:15 PM

Effects of Chinese Privet (Lingustrum sinese) on Native Tree Growth in Milledgeville, GA

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

Lingustrum sinese is an aggressive species that is capable of taking over areas in which it is found. Lingustrum was first introduced in the United States in 1852 as an ornamental shrub and is still commonly used as a hedge in residential areas. The plant has an increased ability to tolerate poor environmental conditions, which is one of the reasons as to how it invades so rapidly, and currently widely invaded natural areas in many parts of North Eastern United States. In this study, we examined its effects on native forest structure and composition at the Oconee River Greenway in Milledgeville, Georgia. GIS analysis was also used alongside field visitation to map the extent of privet in the area. Tree cores were sampled from Acer negundo (Boxelder), Celtis laevigata (Sugarberry), and Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore) at sites with and without privet. The rings of the cores were then compared to see if the rate of tree growth differed between sites with heavy privet presence and those with less or no privet. We also compared tree density and species richness between the sites. Preliminary results indicate that L. sinese has a negative impact on plant abundance, native species richness, and rate of native tree growth. This finding shows the need for management strategies that minimize and/or eliminate this invasive species from native forests in order to allow for thriving forest ecosystems.