Sunday, May 6, 2007

Bush Honeysuckles - invasive species

Exotic Bush Honeysuckles: Lonicera fragrantissima (fragrant honeysuckle), L. maackii (Amur honeysuckle), L. morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle), L. standishii (Standish's honeysuckle), L. tatarica (Tartarian honeysuckle), L. xylosteum (European fly honeysuckle), L. X bella (hybrid, pretty honeysuckle) and possibly others Honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae) compete with native bush honeysuckles for pollinators, resulting in reduced seed set for native species. In addition, the fruits of exotic bush honeysuckles, while abundant and rich in carbohydrates, do not offer migrating birds the high-fat, nutrient-rich food sources needed for long flights, that are supplied by native plant species.

Even more surprising to me was finding this. Also, it has been found that the Cedar Waxwing that feed on tartarian honeysuckle often have orange-tipped rather than yellow-tipped tail feathers. Since plumage colors are badges used for gender and species recognition, the effects of food on birds' color could be very disruptive. Upon further research I'm finding that this plumage effect spans many species. :(

Native Plant database

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