Effects of removing Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) on plant communities, pollinator communities, and tree growth in riparian forests five years after removal with mechanisms of reinvasion
Hudson, Jacob Ryan
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An invasive shrub, Chinese privet, was removed from heavily infested riparian areas in the Georgia piedmont in 2005 by mulching machine or chainsaw felling. Plant communities, Chinese privet reinvasion, canopy tree growth, and insect pollinators were measured on removal, heavily invaded control, and reference plots five years after complete removal of privet. Chinese privet re-infestation has not reached a detrimental level yet re-infestation was more extensive adjacent to the river with a more open canopy. Plant communities continue to benefit from removal and showed increased diversity and secondary succession with progression toward the reference condition. There was no difference in growth of canopy trees in removal and control plots. Pollinator communities were similar between reference and removal plots but were different on control plots. These findings provide long term ecological justification for suppression of Chinese privet across Georgia and the Southeastern United States.