Production, Nutritive Quality, And Rootstock Survival Of Japanese Honeysuckle

A study of Japanese honeysuckle was conducted from April 1970 through April 1972 on Barksdale Air Force Base in northwest Louisisana. Production and nutritive quality of honeysuckle under natural, fertilized, and/ or controlburned conditions were evaluated. Honeysuckle produced 948 ovendry pounds of forage per acre on a bottomland soil and 697 ovendry pounds of forage per acre on upland soils. It had a high regrowth response by seasons. The survival rate of planted rootstock in a wildlife opening and under a forest canopy averaged 70 percent under different planting conditions. Leaves contained a high nutrient quality throughout the year. They are available during the winter season when other browse reaches its yearly low in Louisiana. Field observations showed that deer browse honeysuckle the most during the winter season. Protein, phosphorous, and ash were consistently higher throughout the year on the bottomland soil. During the study the highest per acre production occurred in the spring and lowest in the fall and winter. The percentage of canopy cover affected forage production. Highest forage production came from exclosures with 0 to 35 percent canopy cover and lowest production from 65+ percent canopy coverage. Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is one of the more important plants in the diets of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Louisiana. This is because it's evergreen, abundant, and palatable. Cushwa et at. (1970) found honeysuckle to be one of the most highly preferred and widely consumed winter deer foods throughout the southeast. Rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.), bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus), wild turkey (Meleagris gal!opavo) , and many other species relish the seeds and leaves of honeysuckle (Smith 1972, Rosene 1969, Hewitt 1967). Japanese honeysuckle is native to eastern Asia and is well established in central, eastern, and southeastern United States (Gleason and Cronquist 1963). This paper is a report on field trails of the production and nutritive quality of Japanese honeysuckle under natural conditions; the production and nutritive quality of honeysuckle under fertilized and control-burned conditions. It also gives the survival rate of rootstock planted in a wildlife opening and rootstock planted in the woods. Such information is needed by SCS conservationists in helping land users develop conservation plans.

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