News & Updates
Invasive Species: Bad News for Riparian Buffers
Have you ever been driving on the highway and seen a section of the forest that is completely covered by vines? This is becoming a more and more common sight in Virginia and beyond and there are cascading consequences to the explosive growth of these invasive species. The plant in this photo is called Kudzu (native to Japan and Southeast China). It has the ability to shade out everything from grasses to the tallest trees while providing very few benefits to native animals (it doesn’t provide shelter and is not the preferred meal for animals like deer). Other species like Asiatic bittersweet, Japanese honeysuckle, Porcelain berry, and more pose similar threats to biodiversity, especially in our riparian buffers.
The team behind the James River Buffer Program (JRBP) knows how detrimental invasives can be to trees of all sizes and understands the importance of managing invasive plants around our buffer projects. Before a buffer is designed, a representative from the JRBP will visit the site to assess the pressure coming from invasives and then make a plan with the landowner to address them before planting.
To find out more about how the buffer program addresses invasive species, read the full article by Devon Hathaway, Rivanna Conservation Alliance.