Changes in weather patterns in North America results in a progressive decline of Oak forests. The increased competition from other invasive vegetation such as shrub has led to a significant loss in the oak forest which has become a problem. The article “The association of two invasive shrubs, common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), with oak communities in the Midwestern United States” examines causal factors in the decline of oak in an attempt to establish appropriate mechanisms to counter the downturn. In particular, the article evaluates the relationship that exists between the oak vegetation and common buckthorn and, which are species of shrubs regarded as the potential competitors of oak.
- The authors specified their objectives to enable them to conduct a successful study. The specific objectives of this study were to measure the component and structure of the oak forest and further determine the likelihood of the forest declining concerning the existence of distinct forest edge structural layers. Secondly, the research evaluates the association between oak vegetation and the dominance by common buckthorn and Tartarian honeysuckle concerning agricultural edges. Finally, this study examines the distinctions and features of topographic, soil, and canopy obtained from forest margins, and how these distinctions and functions are related to the oak decline.
- In order to achieve the above objectives, the researchers used Randomized Experimental Block Design in which samples were obtained from specified sites along the forest edge. The relative importance values for trees ≥10 cm were calculated to establish the relationship between the sample communities as specified in the objective (Schulte, Erik, and Brian, 1983). Finally, the nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) technique was used to evaluate the distinctions between samples obtained from different sites.
- The results revealed found poor occupancy of oaks when compared to more shade-tolerant tree species along the forest edge (1981). Furthermore, the findings indicated that a significant relationship exists between bur oak, open canopy conditions, high amount of soil nutrient, and the existence of common buckthorn and Tartarian honeysuckle was not related to the presence of red and white oak.
- This research used experimental study design involving Systematic sampling procedure and Statistical Analytical Software System to obtain and analyze the samples of interests. The model was based on conducting tests to examine the relationships between the population of the study.
- Both figure four and table three supports the conclusions of the research findings. Figure 4 for instance, affirms that the strong relationship between the common buckthorn and oak species was not linked to affect the occurrence of the oak species existence. On the other hand, Table 3 which describes the Response of vegetation and environmental metrics to distance from edge demonstrates that invasive species such as shrubs dominated the forest edge. These species are tolerant of ecological parameters; thus they invade forest areas instead of oak, which agrees with the findings that predominant constraints may vary based on light variability along forest edges.
- The authors used Fralish (2004) to explain how oak species affect population and community dynamics in the ecosystem (1982). Moreover, Hester and Hobbs 1992 is used to provide evidence of the existence of potential competitors to Oak forest and invasive plants along forest edges (1982). Finally, the scientists, Lorimer et al. 1994 (1982) to prove that Edge effects may present significant implications for oak forest management as a result of relationships between distance from the edge, competition, and the ability for oak seedlings to survive. Notably, citations support the findings of this study and further validate the claims by the authors.
- Funds for this research was donated by the US Forest Service Northern Research Station and the Agriculture Experiment Station at Iowa State University. These are all vegetation conservation agencies who are interested in maintaining all plant species. Thus, it was possible to influence the conclusion of the study for personal interest to justify their efforts in reducing the impacts and spread of common buckthorn.
Schulte, Lisa A., Erik C. Mottl, and Brian J. Palik. “The Association of Two Invasive Shrubs, Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), With Oak Communities in The Midwestern United States.” Canadian Journal of Forest Research, vol.41, no.10, 1981-1992