Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. C. Pearce


European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) is an invasive shrub that was introduced to North America as an ornamental and medicinal plant. European buckthorn is dispersed by birds and flowing water, harbours serious plant pests and diseases, and forms dense stands that compete with native vegetation through an extended leaf-out season. European buckthorn is difficult to remove once established because of long-lived seeds and an ability to resprout after mechanically removal. The purpose of this thesis is to examine European buckthorn’s invasion pattern and site preferences in London, Ontario. Sampling and historical data supported the hypothesis that Medway Creek was closer to the inoculation site. Two thousand two hundred and sixty- five (2265) European buckthorn plants were counted in three sampling sites. European buckthorn was positively correlated with plants commonly found in secondary growth forests. Buckthorn also preferred clay soils, closed forest canopies, and reduced forest groundcover. It was unclear whether buckthorn was most strongly associated with floodplain or slope communities. Because the costs and ecological damages associated with invasive plants increase over time when left unaddressed, controlling European buckthorn in London should be a priority for local land managers.



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