Comparing the Abundance of Vertebrate Species in Honeysuckle-present and Honeysuckle-absent Habitats in SW Ohio in Order to Better Understand the Ecological Impact of Honeysuckle Removal

Arcadia Davies Miami University of Ohio, Megan Brown Miami University of Ohio, Kevin Little Miami University of Ohio
Faculty Sponsor(s): Hays Cummins Miami University of Ohio, Donna McCollum Miami University of Ohio
Invasive species are of immediate concern in ecological restoration in Southwest Ohio. Removal of Lonicera mackii., an invasive bush honeysuckle, has been widely practiced there as a first step in restoring woodlands to a more natural state. However, removing bush honeysuckle often leaves the landscape devoid of native understory species. This study used camera traps to better understand how the presence or absence of honeysuckle affects vertebrate population abundances. We predicted a higher presence of mammals in honeysuckle-present areas than in honeysuckle-absent areas due to more understory vegetative cover in the honeysuckle-present areas. Twelve trail cameras were distributed across 32 acres of property with habitats including firebreak/prairie and woods (with sub-categories of honeysuckle-present and honeysuckle-absent). Using photo review for species identification, we report the abundance of seven vertebrate species in each habitat. Data analysis explores habitat abundance in terms of the time of day, time of year, and total duration of time spent in each habitat. Initial data analysis demonstrates that there are three times the number of deer found in honeysuckle-absent forest habitats compared to honeysuckle-present forest habitats.
Biology
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:00 AM
Gallahue Hall 102