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Keywords:

  • Birds;
  • honeysuckle;
  • invasives;
  • ecological trap;
  • Lonicera

Abstract

Although control of invasive species remains a common part of ecological restoration efforts, there is a growing dialogue within scientific and conservation communities regarding positive influences of invaders and potential negative consequences of their removal. As one example, a recent Diversity & Distributions article cautions that removal of exotic and invasive honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) may negatively affect populations of frugivorous birds and, therefore, may have undesirable ecological outcomes. In response, I share several insights from research in my lab on bird-honeysuckle interactions that show how honeysuckle disproportionately impacts birds of conservation concern and acts as an ecological trap even for generalist species. Although there is a real need to fully consider both positive and negative consequences of invasive species, if such research is not placed within the proper ecological context, we risk sending distorted or mixed messages to managers.