•  
  •  
 

Abstract

European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) is an invasive shrub that is capable of changing the nitrogen content of a soil through the deposition of its nitrogen rich leaf litter. This change creates conditions that may favor recolonizing by buckthorn and negatively affect the growth of native plants. In this greenhouse experiment, we examined the effect of altering soil quality by adding mulch comprised of buckthorn wood on above and belowground biomass, stem length and leaf production of buckthorn saplings. We found that buckthorn saplings planted in buckthorn mulch had reduced stem length and leaf production compared to growth in control sites. Extrapolating from these results we suggest that amending soils in sites set aside for biodiversity conservation and restoration may result in reduced growth of this invasive shrub.