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Carolina buckthorn [Rhamnus caroliniana Walt. or Frangula caroliniana (Walt.) Gray] is an attractive and water-stress-resistant shrub or small tree distributed extensively in the southeastern United States that merits use in managed landscapes. Due to substantial climatic differences within its distribution (30-year normal midwinter minima range from 13 to -8 °C), selection among provenances based on differences in cold hardiness is warranted. Before selections are marketed, the potential of carolina buckthorn to be invasive also merits investigation. Ecological problems resulting from the introduction of Rhamnus L. species in the United States, most notably the dominance of R. cathartica L. (common buckthorn) over neighboring taxa, are due in part to early budbreak. Consequently, we investigated depth of cold hardiness and vernal budbreak of carolina buckthorn and common buckthorn. Stem samples of carolina buckthorn and common buckthorn collected in midwinter survived temperatures as low as -21 and -24 °C, respectively. Although the cold hardiness of carolina buckthorns from Missouri was greater than that of carolina buckthorns from Ohio and Texas on 2 Apr. 2003, there were no differences in cold hardiness of stems from Missouri and Texas on all three assessment dates in the second experiment. All plants survived at both field locations except for the carolina buckthorns from southern Texas planted in Iowa, which showed 0% and 17% survival in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Budbreak of both species with and without mulch in Ames, Iowa, was recorded from 9 Apr. to 10 May 2002. Mean budbreak of common buckthorn was 5.7 days earlier than budbreak of carolina buckthorn, and buds of mulched carolina buckthorns broke 4.2 days earlier than did buds of unmulched carolina buckthorns. We conclude that the cold hardiness of carolina buckthorn is sufficient to permit the species to be planted outside of its natural distribution. Populations of carolina buckthorn in Ohio and Missouri should be the focus of efforts to select genotypes for use in regions with harsh winters. Phenology of its budbreak suggests carolina buckthorn will not be as invasive as common buckthorn, but evaluation of additional determinants of invasiveness is warranted.

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Elton’s (1958) seminal work advanced the field of invasive species ecology and our understanding of the negative impacts of invasive species. For decades, the scientific community has been aware of the serious threat invasive species pose to

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The ecological and economic impacts of invasive plants are well documented and were thoroughly synthesized previously ( Kettenring and Adams, 2011 ; Pysek et al., 2012 ; Weidlich et al., 2020 ). From an ecological standpoint, invasive plants

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Very few ecosystems in the world are completely free of introduced species, and an increasing proportion of habitats is becoming dominated by them ( Pysek and Richardson, 2010 ). Invasive species decrease species diversity ( McGeoch et al., 2010

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germination and plant growth, and high fertility are traits that could also increase invasive potential ( Anderson et al. 2006 ). The probability of plants becoming naturalized increases significantly with the number of years the plants were marketed and their

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Invasive species pose the second greatest threat to natural ecosystems and are surpassed only by habitat destruction as a threat to global biodiversity ( Bir, 2000 ; Morin, 1999 ; Wilcove et al., 1998 ). Nonnative plants that establish self

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Invasive plant dispersals have been strongly affected by the trade and distribution of horticultural plants, primarily by ornamental plants ( Anderson and Ascher, 1993 ; Groves, 1998 ; Mack, 2003 ; Mack and Erneberg, 2002 ; Randall and Marinelli

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With human movement comes the arrival of invasive species. Since humans started migrating to new places, new plants intentionally came with them for agricultural or ornamental purposes. New plants also came unintentionally, via seeds that hitchhiked

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More than 50 years ago, Elton (1958) warned of an impending global environmental crisis resulting from the spread of nonnative, invasive species. Today, nonnative, invasive species are recognized as one of the largest and most serious threats to

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., 1999 ) initiated subsequent invasions of the pest throughout several other states within the United States and other countries ( IUCN SSC, 2006b ; Marler and Muniappan, 2006 ). These events have threatened regional and international horticulture

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