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Commission Helps Forestry Program Control Invasive Japanese Barberry


Mowing down a woodland invader
Mowing down a woodland invader

Aaron Ayres from the Pennsylvania Game Commission this week helped Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management control a large invasion of Japanese barberry that has gradually crept into the Schneebeli Earth Science Center’s outdoor natural laboratory over the years. “This was an excellent opportunity for our students to see and experience the process used in removing invasive vegetation that plagues natural forest regeneration in central Pennsylvania,” said Erich R. Doebler, laboratory assistant for forest technology at the college (who also provided the photo at left). Japanese Barberry poses many ecological threats, such as altered pH, displaced native vegetation and a severe loss of natural wildlife habitat, he explained. Japanese Barberry also provides a thriving home for deer ticks, which are known to carry the bacteria commonly associated with Lyme disease. Through mechanical mowing, the Japanese Barberry was removed, allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor and native hardwood species – such as oak, hickory, maple and poplar – to germinate.

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