Science Inventory

The Invasive Shrub, Buddleja davidii (Butterfl y Bush)

Citation:

TALLENT-HALSELL, N. G. The Invasive Shrub, Buddleja davidii (Butterfl y Bush). Presented at 5th International Weed Science Congress, Vancouver, BC, CANADA, June 23 - 27, 2008.

Impact/Purpose:

Presentation

Description:

Buddleja davidii Franchet (Synonym. Buddleia davidii; common name Butterfly bush) is a perennial, semi-deciduous shrub or small multi-stemmed tree that is resident in gardens and disturbed areas in temperate locations worldwide. Since its introduction to the United Kingdom from central and western China in the late 1800´s it has become a popular component in horticulture, but is also considered problematic because of its ability to rapidly colonize and dominate disturbed areas. There is concern that it has potential negative and irreversible impacts on agricultural and wild lands. Around the globe, native and non-indigenous Buddleja are opportunists that are able to tolerate a wide range of physical conditions. Buddleja is highly prolific (producing millions of wind- and water-dispersed seeds per plant) and vegetatively expansive (stem and root fragments readily develop roots). It has a rapid growth rate, high specific leaf area, and high foliar N and P levels relative to native woody shrub species; all of these attributes increase its photosynthetic efficiency and competitive capabilities. Buddleja has an arbuscular mychorrhizal association and thus, is an efficient phosphorus accumulator. The species displays a high degree of phenotypic plasticity and consequently has been able to expand beyond the environmental limits of native Buddleja species. It has a low susceptibility to disease and herbivory. Although a successful colonist, whether Buddleja alters successional trajectories over the long term is undetermined. The ecological, horticultural, and economic impacts of Buddleja must be determined in order for best management practices to be implemented. The primary goal of this presentation is to synthesize what is known about Buddleja so that ecologists, horticulturalists, land managers and others can understand the impacts related to the continued presence of Buddleja in gardens and natural landscapes. I also address methods by which to manage Buddleja and discuss the ecological and social repercussions of various management strategies and policies implemented to protect or remove Buddleja.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/POSTER)
Product Published Date: 06/27/2008
Record Last Revised: 12/07/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 188150

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH