10/5 Glossy Buckthorn

Last week, we learned a lot about invasive species. One day, we all went on a walk around campus pointing out the invasive species that we saw and learning about how they work in the environment. We were able to rip up some like glossy buckthorn or grapevine, and that was really fun. I learned a lot about how glossy buckthorn transfers their seeds through birds. The plant gives off smells that the birds like, and when they eat the berries, they feel sick and have diarrhea. When they do, that spreads the seeds and then the glossy buckthorn can reproduce. The thing that is really annoying about this is that because the birds keep eating the berries and spreading the seeds, then it nearly impossible to get rid of them, and we are stuck with them forever.


I really liked this project. It was really interesting to learn about glossy buckthorns and how they have changed the environment ( for the worse ). I think that one way that I can use this in my life is that even if plants like the glossy buckthorn look pretty, then still don’t plant them or spread them because they are bad for the environment and the food web. When I learned about this, I was actually surprised by how fast glossy buckthorn messed up the environment. Some invasive species, like fragrant water lilies, take five years to grow a 15 foot circle of lilies, and the glossy buckthorn only needed 1 to 2 years to spread ALL OVER Michigan.  I think that I participated pretty well on this project, but I think that I did get distracted with pulling out glossy buckthorns. I think that one thing that I could have done differently is that I should have paid more attention and not pulling out plants.


  • What are people doing to stop the spread of glossy buckthorns?
  • If the birds get poisoned from eating the berries, then why do the birds keep eating them?
  • What were glossy buckthorns natural predators in their native habitat?