Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
Porcelain berry and bushkiller are confamilial, exotic, perennial vines in the Vitaceae family that are considered nuisance/invasive weeds of natural and riparian areas in the eastern United States. To better understand the competitive abilities of these aggressive weeds, greenhouse competition experiments were conducted on cuttings of porcelain berry, bushkiller, and Virginia-creeper, a native member of the Vitaceae family. Plants grown singly or in combination were monitored for stem growth and biomass production. In this research, porcelain berry and Virginia-creeper exhibited similar rates of stem growth, whereas bushkiller grew taller and faster than either of the other species. Porcelain berry stem growth was reduced in competition with bushkiller. All three species exhibited reduced stem biomass when grown with both other species. Root biomass of porcelain berry and Virginia-creeper were not affected by competition, but bushkiller, which produced the heaviest roots, exhibited reduced root biomass when grown with both other species. Porcelain berry root length was reduced by competition with both other species, but neither Virginia-creeper nor bushkiller root lengths were affected by competition. These results indicate that bushkiller is likely the strongest competitor of the three species studied. In these experiments, porcelain berry was less aggressive and vigorous than bushkiller but was similar to Virginia-creeper.
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