Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program

Lieurance Wins Outstanding Oral Presentation Award

At a recent joint meeting of the Kentucky Invasive Species Council and the Southeast Exotic Plant Pest Council in Lexington, KY, third-year ES Ph.D. student, Deah Lieurance, won an Outstanding Oral Presentation Award. This honor came with a cash award of $150. Deah’s presentation, co-authored with her advisor, Don Cipollini, was entitled “Do damage levels from arthropod herbivores on Lonicera maackii suggest enemy release in North America?”. An abstract is provided below.

Congratulations to Deah!

Abstract-The ‘enemy release hypothesis’ argues when a species is introduced to a novel habitat, release from regulation by natural enemies results in increased abundance and distribution. The invasive shrub Lonicera maackii appears to benefit from enemy release in North America. We assessed the incidence, amount, and type of insect herbivory occurring on L. maackii in forest edge and interior habitats and investigated differences in timing of damage. In October 2008, leaves were sampled from shrubs in forest interior and edge habitat from 8 sites in Ohio. In 2009, sampling was repeated at 3 sites in spring, summer, and fall with an added distinction between long and short branches. Leaf area removed averaged 1.64% across the 8 populations in 2008 and 2.31% across the 3 populations in 2009, with plants in the forest edge receiving more damage than forest interior plants. Additionally, long shoots received more damage than short shoots in 2009. Damage incidence was also higher on plants in the edge habitat and on long shoots compared to short shoots. In 2009, herbivory levels were low in the early season, and damage accumulated steadily through time. The most prevalent form of damage occurred by chewing (76.8% of total damaged leaves). Results indicate that levels of herbivory experienced by L. maackii are consistent across sites, vary slightly with habitat and branch type, but are likely too low to impact fitness of shrubs. These findings indicate that ‘enemy release’ may contribute to the invasive success of L. maackii across its introduced range.