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Old 05-02-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
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Default New culprit contributing to amphibian decline

New scientific studies reveal Midwestern frogs decline, mammal populations altered by invasive plant


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Researchers at Lincoln Park Zoo and Northern Illinois University have discovered a new culprit contributing to amphibian decline and altered mammal distribution throughout the Midwest region the invasive plant European buckthorn. This non-native shrub, which has invaded two-thirds of the United States, has long been known to negatively impact plant community composition and forest structure, but these two innovative studies slated to publish in upcoming editions of the Journal of Herpetology and Natural Areas Journal demonstrate how this shrub negatively impacts native amphibians and affects habitat use by mammals including increased prevalence of coyotes and other carnivores.
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Lincoln Park Zoo Reintroduction Biologist Allison Sacerdote-Velat, Ph.D. and Northern Illinois University Professor of Biological Sciences Richard King have identified European buckthorn as a contributor to amphibian decline in the Chicagoland area. The plant releases the chemical compound emodin, which is produced in the leaves, fruit, bark and roots of the plant, into the amphibian breeding pond environment at various times of year. Sacerdote-Velat and King's research has found that emodin is toxic to amphibian embryos, disrupting their development, preventing hatching.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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While Mustard Garlic might not seem bad there's a good reason to not let it get a foot-hold in your landscape. Not only does it seed heavily the second year but it's roots suppress mycorrhizal fungi.

It sure would be a shame if some valuable seeds were blown in or brought by birds only to land in the garlic mustard's root zone.
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