The Distribution of Amur Honeysuckle and Box Turtle Habitat Use in an Urban Forest
Eagle Hill Publications
Urban forests face major challenges to their ecological integrity because they are often small in size, surrounded by harsh edge-habitat, and can be vulnerable to colonization by invasive species. Lonicera maackii (Amur Honeysuckle) is considered one of the most problematic invasive species in the eastern US. In this study, we examined the distribution patterns of Amur Honeysuckle in an urban forest in Louisville, KY, USA, and the correlation between Amur Honeysuckle density and habitat use of Terrapene carolina (Box Turtle). We found no significant correlation between the density of young (<1 m tall) Amur Honeysuckle and distance to forest edge or hiking trails or density of mature (>1 m tall) Amur Honeysuckle and distance to forest edge. However, mature Amur Honeysuckle density increased as the distance from hiking trails increased. We also found no correlation between the density of young Amur Honeysuckle and Box Turtle habitat use, but at the landscape level, the likelihood of finding Box Turtles in an area decreases as the density of mature Amur Honeysuckle increases. Box Turtles were also more likely to be found in the vicinity of hiking trails than randomly selected points. Our results suggest that there is a negative correlation between mature Amur Honeysuckle density and Box Turtle habitat use, and that high densities of mature Amur Honeysuckle reduce available Box Turtle habitat.
Omar Attum, James Lowry, Bruce A. Kingsbury Ph.D., and Evin Carter (2016).
The Distribution of Amur Honeysuckle and Box Turtle Habitat Use in an Urban Forest. Urban Naturalist. 1-9. Eagle Hill Publications.