Ecological Restoration: American Forests Are Being Overrun by 1844 Invasive Family Species

SciTechDaily - Science, Space and Technology News 2022

Invasive species that have been introduced to the United States over the last century are displacing numerous native plants, according to a recent botanical assessment of southwest Ohio.

“The spread of nonnative invasive species into wooded natural areas in southwestern Ohio threatens the continued survival of native flora and fauna…..

By  on Jul 30, 2022

Beautiful Mysterious Forest

The study found that many native plants are being displaced by invasive species that have been brought to the United States during the last century.

A recent plant survey discovered that numerous invasive non-native species are prospering in Ohio.

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Invasive species that have been introduced to the United States over the last century are displacing numerous native plants, according to a recent botanical assessment of southwest Ohio.

The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.Joel:1:12 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.Matthew:15:13

In order to determine how the Queen City’s plant diversity has altered over the last two centuries, biologists from the University of Cincinnati are retracing two extensive surveys that were carried out 100 years apart. They concentrated on sections of cemeteries, Mill Creek’s banks, and public parks that have been preserved from development for the last 200 years.

Denis Conover Plant Survey

A new plant survey of southwest Ohio found a rise in nonnative, invasive species such as English Ivy. Credit: Lisa Ventre/UC

The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. Judges:9:8,Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.Psalm:140:11,And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.Judges:8:23

The study was recently published in the journal Ecological Restoration.

While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people … do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5.
And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils. The class that have provoked the displeasure of Heaven will charge all their troubles upon those whose obedience to God’s commandments is a perpetual reproof to transgressors. It will be declared that men are offending God by the violation of the Sunday sabbath; that this sin has brought calamities which will not cease until Sunday observance shall be strictly enforced; and that those who present the claims of the fourth commandment, thus destroying reverence for Sunday, are troublers of the people, preventing their restoration to divine favor and temporal prosperity. Thus the accusation urged of old against the servant of God will be repeated and upon grounds equally well established: “And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim.” 1 Kings 18:17, 18. As the wrath of the people shall be excited by false charges, they will pursue a course toward God’s ambassadors very similar to that which apostate Israel pursued toward Elijah.
The miracle-working power manifested through spiritualism will exert its influence against those who choose to obey God rather than men. Communications from the spirits will declare that God has sent them to convince the rejecters of Sunday of their error, affirming that the laws of the land should be obeyed as the law of God. They will lament the great wickedness in the world and second the testimony of religious teachers that the degraded state of morals is caused by the desecration of Sunday. Great will be the indignation excited against all who refuse to accept their testimony.
Satan’s policy in this final conflict with God’s people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God’s law, he will cause them to be accused as lawbreakers, as men who are dishonoring God and bringing judgments upon the world. GC 589.3 – GC 591.1

Thomas G. Lea, a botanist from Cincinnati, did a plant survey in Cincinnati between 1834 and 1844, and the most recent study by UC continues his work. He gathered specimens for a herbarium during that period and donated them to the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences. Before his death in 1844, Lea had categorized 714 different species. In 1849, his brother published a posthumous edition of his work.

A century later, renowned UC botanist E. Lucy Braun followed in Lea’s footsteps by performing a second plant survey in Cincinnati. Her 1934 research, which was published in The American Midland Naturalist, discovered more than 1,400 species. She relied on Lea’s precise notes to take her back to the locations he visited, many of which had been transformed over time into houses, streets, or apartment complexes.

So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.Matthew:22:10

In southwest Ohio, where urban expansion did not trample over natural areas, biologist Denis Conover of the University of California at Davis and his co-author Robert Bergstein followed in the footsteps of Braun and Lea. Numerous species that were intentionally planted as landscape plants were discovered to be thriving in the wild.

Denis Conover

UC biology professor Denis Conover holds porcelainberry, one of several nonnative and invasive species he found in a new plant survey in southwest Ohio. Credit: Lisa Ventre/UC

“The spread of nonnative invasive species into wooded natural areas in southwestern Ohio threatens the continued survival of native flora and fauna. Efforts by park managers and volunteers to control invasive plant species have become a major part of their duties. This effort will be required in perpetuity and will be at great expense both monetarily and timewise due to collateral damage to native plants, wildlife, and humans caused by the extensive use of herbicides, chainsaws, and other mechanical equipment,” the study concluded.

Horticulturists introduced most of the nonnative plants from Europe and Asia as ornamentals. Their seeds eventually spread in the wild.

ITo William Miller and his colaborers it was given to preach the warning in America. This country became the center of the great advent movement. It was here that the prophecy of the first angel’s message had its most direct fulfillment. The writings of Miller and his associates were carried to distant lands. Wherever missionaries had penetrated in all the world, were sent the glad tidings of Christ’s speedy return. Far and wide spread the message of the everlasting gospel: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.”
The testimony of the prophecies which seemed to point to the coming of Christ in the spring of 1844 took deep hold of the minds of the people. As the message went from state to state, there was everywhere awakened widespread interest. Many were convinced that the arguments from the prophetic periods were correct, and, sacrificing their pride of opinion, they joyfully received the truth. Some ministers laid aside their sectarian views and feelings, left their salaries and their churches, and united in proclaiming the coming of Jesus. There were comparatively few ministers, however, who would accept this message; therefore it was largely committed to humble laymen. Farmers left their fields, mechanics their tools, traders their merchandise, professional men their positions; and yet the number of workers was small in comparison with the work to be accomplished. The condition of an ungodly church and a world lying in wickedness, burdened the souls of the true watchmen, and they willingly endured toil, privation, and suffering, that they might call men to repentance unto salvation. Though opposed by Satan, the work went steadily forward, and the advent truth was accepted by many thousands.
Everywhere the searching testimony was heard, warning sinners, both worldlings and church members, to flee from the wrath to come. Like John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, the preachers laid the ax at the root of the tree and urged all to bring forth fruit meet for repentance. Their stirring appeals were in marked contrast to the assurances of peace and safety that were heard from popular pulpits; and wherever the message was given, it moved the people. The simple, direct testimony of the Scriptures, set home by the power of the Holy Spirit, brought a weight of conviction which few were able wholly to resist. Professors of religion were roused from their false security. They saw their backslidings, their worldliness and unbelief, their pride and selfishness. Many sought the Lord with repentance and humiliation. The affections that had so long clung to earthly things they now fixed upon heaven. The Spirit of God rested upon them, and with hearts softened and subdued they joined to sound the cry: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.”
Sinners inquired with weeping: “What must I do to be saved?” Those whose lives had been marked with dishonesty were anxious to make restitution. All who found peace in Christ longed to see others share the blessing. The hearts of parents were turned to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents. The barriers of pride and reserve were swept away. Heartfelt confessions were made, and the members of the household labored for the salvation of those who were nearest and dearest. Often was heard the sound of earnest intercession. Everywhere were souls in deep anguish pleading with God. Many wrestled all night in prayer for the assurance that their own sins were pardoned, or for the conversion of their relatives or neighbors.
All classes flocked to the Adventist meetings. Rich and poor, high and low, were, from various causes, anxious to hear for themselves the doctrine of the second advent. The Lord held the spirit of opposition in check while His servants explained the reasons of their faith. Sometimes the instrument was feeble; but the Spirit of God gave power to His truth. The presence of holy angels was felt in these assemblies, and many were daily added to the believers. As the evidences of Christ’s soon coming were repeated, vast crowds listened in breathless silence to the solemn words. Heaven and earth seemed to approach each other. The power of God was felt upon old and young and middle-aged. Men sought their homes with praises upon their lips, and the glad sound rang out upon the still night air. None who attended those meetings can ever forget those scenes of deepest interest. GC 368.1 – GC 369.3

The biggest culprit? Amur honeysuckle, a woody shrub that has taken over many eastern forests.

“It has escaped into the wild and is propagating on its own,” said Conover, a professor of biology in UC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

English Ivy

A new plant survey of southwest Ohio found a rise in nonnative, invasive species such as this English Ivy growing up a tree trunk. Credit:
Denis Conover

Not to be confused with native trumpet honeysuckle, which grows in southern states and is referenced in the works of American writers William Faulkner and Robert Frost, Amur honeysuckle is a shrub from Asia that has delicate white flowers in the spring and red berries in the fall.

“Amur honeysuckle is now the most abundant woody plant in Hamilton County,” he said. “One bush can produce thousands of seeds that get dispersed by birds and mammals.”

A survey by Braun in 1961 found Amur honeysuckle starting to grow in some parts of Hamilton County but not yet spreading in the wild in other Ohio counties. Today, it is a dominant woody plant found ubiquitously throughout the state, crowding out virtually all other low-lying vegetation, the study found.

“In some woodlands, the Amur honeysuckle layer is so dense that the only native species remaining are older trees whose canopy is already growing above the shrub layer,” the study said.

“It leafs out before native woody plants and holds its leaves longer into the fall,” Conover said.

Some invasive plants are successful because they produce chemicals that hinder the growth or germination of nearby competitors, an insidious weapon called allelopathy, he said.

Conover said where these introduced plants are found, there is often far less biodiversity to support wildlife and the food chain. Once they take hold, eradicating plants like Amur honeysuckle is labor-intensive, expensive, and time-consuming.

“Native plants just don’t have a chance. Everything that depends on the native plants — insects, birds — can be lost,” Conover said. “When they introduce nonnative plants to the United States, they can also import fungal diseases that can wipe out native trees, which is what happened with the American chestnut.”

Callery pear trees with their pretty spring flowers and quick growing times were a favorite tree to plant in front yards of new subdivisions. Today, they grow wild along highways and forests.

Ohio lawmakers plan to phase in a ban on the sale of Callery pear trees in 2023.

The UC survey found dozens of other examples of foreign species that have taken root in southwest Ohio’s woods, including porcelain berry, tree of heaven, winged euonymus, European buckthorn, Oriental bittersweet, common privet, and lesser periwinkle. It also found Norway maple, Amur cork tree, and white poplar along with herbaceous species such as lesser celandine, garlic mustard, Japanese knotweed, and Japanese stilt grass.

Reference: “The Rise of Non-Native Invasive Plants in Wooded Natural Areas in Southwestern Ohio” by Denis G. Conover and Robert D. Bergstein, June 2022, Ecological Restoration.
DOI: 10.3368/er.40.2.94

BiodiversityEcologyForestsInvasive SpeciesPopularUniversity of Cincinnati

Jul 23, 2022

Under Threat: The World’s Rivers Are Rapidly Changing, Here’s How

Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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