Effect of the Removal of Invasive Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) on the Diversity and Abundance of Terrestrial Invertebrates

Tara Allen
Undergraduate (Environmental & Plant Sciences)
Dr. Elizabeth Toman
Environment and Natural Resources

The purpose of this study was to determine what effect the removal of honeysuckle (Lonicera maacki) has on the diversity and abundance of terrestrial invertebrates in riparian areas. The study took place at 10 different sites along the Little Miami River in Greene County, Ohio. The study sites were located on both public and private lands with differing levels of honeysuckle removal. At four sites, honeysuckle had been successfully removed; on three sites honeysuckle had partially grown back after removal; and at three sites honeysuckle had not been removed. During the period of May to early July 2019, leaf litter samples were collected at each site a total of 3 times (collection dates for each sampling round at each site were at least 2 weeks apart). After collection, the leaf litter was placed in Berlese funnels to extract the terrestrial invertebrates. Invertebrates were separated from any remaining soil and counted and identified to the taxonomic level of Order. The samples were dried at 105°C for about 5 days to determine dry weight. The dry weights were used as a measure of biomass. Larval stages of the Orders were kept separate from the rest of the sample when determining the dry weights. After drying the samples, the Shannon Diversity Index was calculated for each site. T-tests were performed to statistically compare the abundance (both count and biomass) and diversity (Shannon Diversity Index) of invertebrates found at sites without honeysuckle removal, sites that had been removed of honeysuckle with partial grow-back, and sites where successful removal had occurred. Data analysis is currently ongoing, but initial results suggest that there is no significant difference in the abundance or diversity of the invertebrates found between the different sites. Future research may want to further explore this question by identifying the invertebrates to the level of Species.