Removing Chinese privet from riparian forests still benefits pollinators five years later

  • Published source details Hudson J.R., Hanula J.L. & Horn S. (2013) Removing Chinese privet from riparian forests still benefits pollinators five years later. Biological Conservation, 167, 355-362.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control non-native or problematic plants

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Remove or control non-native or problematic plants

    A controlled study in 2005–2012 in seven riparian forests in Georgia, USA (Hudson et al. 2013) found that areas where Chinese privet Ligustrum sinense had been removed had a higher abundance and species richness of butterflies than areas infested with privet. Five years after privet removal had finished, removal sites had a higher abundance (121–146 individuals/plot) and species richness (10–12 species/plot) of butterflies than privet-infested sites (abundance: 30 individuals/plot; richness: 4 species/plot). Butterfly abundance and species richness in removal sites were also similar to reference sites with no privet invasion (abundance: 190 individuals/plot; richness: 14 species/plot). In October 2005, Chinese privet was removed from two infested 2-ha plots. At one site, a mulching machine ground up the privet and at the other site privet was hand-cut with chainsaws. Privet stumps were sprayed with herbicide (30% triclopyr or 30% glyphosate) after cutting, and sprouts and seedlings were sprayed with 2% glyphosate in December 2006. Removal sites were compared with two infested sites where privet was not removed, and three reference sites with little or no privet invasion. From March–October 2012, butterflies were sampled for one week/month using five blue and five yellow pan traps/plot. Traps were filled with soapy water and suspended 30 cm above ground.

    (Summarised by: Andrew Bladon)

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