Potential Range Expansion of Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunb.) in Southern U.S. Forestlands
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Japanese honeysuckle is one of the most aggressive invasive vines in forestlands of the southern United States. We analyzed field data collected by the U.S. Forest Service to identify potential determinants of invasion and to predict likelihood of further invasion under a variety of possible management strategies. Results of logistic regression, which classified 74% of the field plots correctly with regard to species presence and absence, indicated probability of invasion is correlated positively with adjacency to water bodies, temperature, site productivity, species diversity, and private land ownership, and is correlated negatively with slope, stand age, artificial regeneration, distance to the nearest road, and fire disturbance. Habitats most at risk to further invasion under current conditions occur throughout Mississippi, stretching northward across western Tennessee and western Kentucky, westward across southern Arkansas, eastward across north-central Alabama, and also occur in several counties scattered within Virginia. Invasion likelihoods could be increased by global climate change and reduced most by conversion to public land ownership, followed by artificial regeneration, and fire disturbance. While conversion of land ownership may not be feasible, this result suggests the opportunity for decreasing the likelihood of invasions on private lands via using selected management practices. 2012 2012 by the authors.