A Study of the Invasive Species Buckthorn in the Lady Eaton Drumlin


The Buckthorn population is starting to grow all over Ontario and North America. Buckthorn has made its way to Trent University in the Lady Eaton drumlin.

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A study was conducted in the drumlin to examine the rising density of Buckthorn and how it affects the other plant species native to the drumlin. Students travelled into the drumlin to conduct their research and to determine the answer to these questions. It was evident Buckthorn is starting to take over the drumlin much like the Dog-Strangling vine did.

Invasive species such as Buckthorn, are an enormous threat to our ecosystems and need to be taken care of. Studies such as this one brings light to this problem and offers potential solutions. Introduction Buckthorn plants are an extremely invasive species that affect ecosystems all over Ontario and have even stretched as far as Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. This plant is native to Eurasia and was brought to North America in the 1880s as windbreaks for agriculture fields and also as ornamental plants.

In previous studies it has been proven the Buckthorn plant chokes out native species and takes over forests and other ecosystems. Buckthorn could be classified as a “super plant” due to its resistance to drought, ability to grow with minimal sunlight, and high fecundity (Kathleen Knight, et al, 2007). This information can estimate there will be moderately the same Buckthorn density as non-Buckthorn density, along with a higher amount of mature Buckthorn compared to juvenile Buckthorn, these factors could have a negative effect on the aesthetics of the Lady Eaton drumlin.


In the Lady Eaton drumlin, 16 sections of students at different study times were separated into 9 groups per section and each group was assigned to one or two sites. A 30m tape and flagging tape was used to create a 10×10 square with the flagged tree in the Southeast corner then resources such as bags and sweaters were used to mark the other corners of the square on each site. The groups then counted every Buckthorn plant that was shorter than 1.3m, each Buckthorn plant that was equal or taller than 1.3m and each non-Buckthorn plant that was equal or taller than 1.3m. Each group was provided a data sheet where they recorded their data along with observations of the terrain on each site. The data from each section was pooled into a Microsoft Excel page where students then calculated the density of mature and juvenile Buckthorn plants along with mature non-Buckthorn plants. Figure 2: Comparison between total Buckthorn density and mature Buckthorn density Discussion Based on the study, and as shown in figure 1, in most cases a higher density of mature Buckthorn can cause a lower density of mature non-Buckthorn plants.

Non-Buckthorn density showed an increase on sites where Buckthorn density was low. For example site 3 demonstrated a slight decrease in Buckthorn density while non-Buckthorn density rose, this was the same for site 7 but on a slightly larger scale. As shown in figure 2, mature Buckthorn density seems to follow the same pattern of total Buckthorn density, exceptions are sites 4-7. The reasoning behind this is currently unknown. Due to the rise in Buckthorn density, this dramatically changes the aesthetics of the Lady Eaton drumlin. A rise in Buckthorn means a decrease in other beautiful plant species, which also causes a decline in biodiversity which makes a forest aesthetically pleasing. Buckthorn are also not a very pleasant looking plant with their thorns and minimal leaves. Management of these plants is extremely hard due to its resilience to an abundance of treatments including fire treated stumps and “Killex” (Archibold, Brooks & Delanoy, 1997).

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A Study of the Invasive Species Buckthorn in the Lady Eaton Drumlin. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-study-of-the-invasive-species-buckthorn-in-the-lady-eaton-drumlin/

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