The Influence of Water Availability on Co-Invader Interactions: Oriental Bittersweet and Japanese Barberry

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Citation

Goodland, Aurora, “The Influence of Water Availability on Co-Invader Interactions: Oriental Bittersweet and Japanese Barberry,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed October 25, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/478.

Title

The Influence of Water Availability on Co-Invader Interactions: Oriental Bittersweet and Japanese Barberry

Creator

Goodland, Aurora

Date

2020

Description

Invasive species are notorious for their negative impact on native biodiversity, often placing stress on communities that have co-evolved for hundreds of years. Considering that several invasive species are found at any given invasion site, it is important to consider how the competitive interaction between invasives can shape community structures. This study looks at the interaction between two invasive plants, Oriental bittersweet and Japanese barberry, which are often found growing together in Massachusetts. Specifically, the impact of interspecific versus intraspecific competition on the growth of each invader is compared using data from a field experiment in Waltham. Moreover, this study considers whether or not this interaction would become exacerbated or altered in drought conditions by implementing varying water treatments (ambient, semi-drought and drought). Our data reveals that while Japanese barberry grows significantly less in drought conditions, Oriental bittersweet is able to thrive despite any water limitations. Further, we suggest that in drought conditions, both species are more successful when growing in interspecific as opposed to intraspecific treatments. Moving forward, we hope to construct a mathematical model, the mathematical analysis of which will predict if the long term interaction between these plants would result in competitive coexistence or exclusion. Overall, with the foreboding inevitability of climate change, it is especially important for us to conserve healthy ecosystems in order to maximize their resilience. By understanding how these particular co-invaders interact, we can better conceptualize how to take targeted action in order to restore local areas.

Video available upon request.

Subject

Environment; Biodiversity; Invasive Species; Ecology; Ecosystems

Publisher

Simmons University (Boston, Mass.)

Rights

Material from the Simmons University Archives collections are made available for study purposes only. For more information, or to request rights to reproduce or reuse any material, contact the the Simmons University Archives at archives@simmons.edu.

Format

mp4 video

Language

English

Type

Undergraduate Symposium
Project Discipline: Environmental Science