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Harvard Forest REU Symposium Abstract 2019

  • Title: Effects of Alliaria petiolata eradication on woody native seedling productivity
  • Author: Audrey Kaiser (Keene State College)
  • Abstract:

    Alliaria petiolata is a biennial, noxious weed that is invasive in the United States. This allelopathic plant negatively impacts fungal mutualisms within the soil that aid in plant productivity. Due to lack of post-management monitoring, the effects of A. petiolata eradication on native plant communities are unclear. This study examines the effects of A. petiolata management methods on community trajectory using the productivity of woody native seedlings. An A. petiolata eradication experiment was previously conducted by the Stinson Lab at the McLennan Reservation in Tyringham, MA from 2014 to 2017. Plots were manually and chemically eradicated of garlic mustard, with invaded and uninvaded plots serving as controls. Soils from these plots were sampled, and woody seedlings larger than 2 cm were measured weekly to document productivity. Species within chemically treated plots had a significantly greater average height than species within manually removed and invaded plots (p = < 0.05). Of the functional groups (trees, vines, and shrubs), tree seedlings were the tallest across treatments. Trees in plots treated with chemical application were significantly taller than invaded plots, and plots treated with manual removal (p = < 0.05). In conclusion, chemical application yielded the most productive growth of native species. The findings from this study can be used to influence restoration and management practices in ways that will benefit both the affected ecosystems and native species. Future research should include long-term observation of glyphosate impact on canopy species specifically, to further clarify the implications of garlic mustard management on native plant restoration.

  • Research Category: Conservation and Management; Invasive Plants, Pests & Pathogens