Paving the Way For Invasive Species

argylesock says… Here’s a North American perspective on our alder buckthorn or common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Over there, it’s become invasive and it provides food for a pest called the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura). That insect is another alien species in North America. Meanwhile, here in its homeland, the alder buckthorn is important as a food plant for the brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni) and the tiger moth (Arctia cuja).

Living With Insects Blog

Horticulturalists help bring beauty to our gardens and landscapes by introducing plants from other parts of the world and breeding them for aesthetic characteristics. In the past, not enough attention was paid to the potential for these plants to become invasive. After several incidents of horticultural plants invading the landscape, horticulturalists are more aware of the potential harm and evaluate the possibility that an introduced plant will become invasive.

Buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica, is a European Plant that was introduced to North America as an ornamental in the 1800s. Used as a hedgerow plant in landscapes, buckthorn produces berries that are spread by birds and forms impenetrable hedgerows in the forest. It thrives as an understory plant where it displaces native vegetation, destroys wildlife habitat, and prevents growth of native tree saplings. Currently there are prohibitions against planting buckthorn in North America and efforts are made to remove or manage invasive…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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