State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009KY131B
Title: Impacts of Bush honeysuckle on ephemeral aquatic ecosystems
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: Kentucky 4th
Focus Categories: Ecology, Invasive Species, Surface Water
Keywords: evapotranspiration, tadpole digestion, allochthonous detritus
Principal Investigator: Durtsche, Richard
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,003
Abstract: Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is an invasive shrub that dominates edge habitats throughout much of Kentucky, including the edges of waterways, lakes, ponds, streams, and wetland habitats. This shrub dominates terrestrial habitats through dense cover and allelopathy to prevent growth of native plants. Our preliminary studies have found that 1) these shrubs appear to have higher evapotranspiration rates than native trees, and 2) that frog tadpoles raised in teas of honeysuckle leaves show reduced survival presumably because of either reduced digestive capacity or tea induced hypoxic conditions. Either of these conditions can be detrimental to not only aquatic ecosystems, but also to water supplies for domestic use. The questions addressed in this study are two-fold in assessing the impact of Bush honeysuckle on ephemeral aquatic ecosytems. Our first question is whether or not L. maackii leaves negatively impact digestion efficiency in frog tadpoles. The second question is whether or not L. maackii have higher evapotranspiration rates than other riparian trees or shrubs, thereby providing evidence for the potential reduction of water available in ephemeral water systems.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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