A Review of Avian Dispersal of Non-Native and Invasive Plants in the Southeastern United States


E. Natasha Vanderhoff

Additional Authors:

Jeremy D. Rentsch


Nov – 2021


non-native invasive plants, avian, seed dispersal

Non-native and invasive (NNI) plants have spread throughout the southeastern United States. To monitor the spread of NNI plants and implement appropriate management we need to understand the relationship between NNI plants and their avian dispersers. Birds are the primary disperser of many NNI plants, and thus a thorough understanding of their role can aid agencies wishing to control the spread of NNI plants. We examined the literature to assess the current knowledge of the relationship between NNI plants, specifically shrubs, trees, and vines, and their avian dispersers in the southeastern United States. We found 56 papers covering 28 NNI plant species and 46 bird species. 66% of papers on NNI plants did not connect plants with specific avian dispersers and those that did tended to mention fewer than five avian species. More studies were conducted in Florida than any other state and most papers focused on the spread of NNI plants. Our review indicates a need for further research to identify the avian dispersers of NNI plants and the role they play in the spread of NNI in the southeast.