Thursday, 29 October 2015

Electricity pylons may be potential foci for the invasion of black cherry Prunus serotina in intensive farmland (Article)

Volume 62, January 01, 2015, Pages 40-44

Department of Ecology, Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, Lubicz Str. 46, Kraków, Poland
Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego Str. 71C, Poznań, Poland


Electricity pylons are used by birds for nesting platforms, song posts, roosting, perching and therefore as defecation sites. Consequently we predict that pylons may facilitate the dispersal of endozoochorous plants, such as black cherry Prunus serotina, an invasive species in Europe producing fruits that are often eaten by birds. To test the influence of electricity pylons on the abundance of P.serotina in farmland in western Poland we surveyed 124 areas under pylons and 124 paired control plots within fields under power lines. P.serotina occurred under 81.5% of the investigated pylons but only in 2.4% of the control plots. The vast majority of P.serotina plants occurred under pylons (99.9% of 5820 individuals) of which only 0.7% (42 individuals), found under 12 pylons, were fruiting. The few plants in control plots were all seedlings. The density of plants was related to landscape variables; the occurrence of P.serotina was higher when pylons were situated within arable crops, had a lower level of herb cover and were closer to human settlements. These results suggest that one approach to protect semi natural or even anthropogenic landscapes from exotic and invasive species is by encouraging permanent land use involving some form of annual disturbance, such as hay cutting or ploughing. © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Author keywords

Dispersal foci; Electricity pylons; Endozoochory; Farmland; Prunus serotina

Indexed keywords

Species Index: Prunus serotina; Aves
GEOBASE Subject Index: agricultural land; biological invasion; dispersal; disturbance; fruit; intensive agriculture; invasive species; land use change; zoochory
Regional Index: Poland