|All of the green shrubs shown above are buckthorn.|
|Western Chorus Frog eggs are affected by buckthorn.|
Buckthorn has many effects on nearby living organisms that are unusual for plants. For instance, buckthorn excretes high levels of a chemical called emodin during leaf out, coinciding with activity from early-breeding amphibians. The timing of this is particularly devastating to frogs because this chemical, which is released from all parts of the plant, has shown toxic effects on amphibian embryos, including disrupting their development and preventing them from hatching.
|Meadow Rue in bloom|
|Meadow Rue leaves are delicate and beautiful|
At Coldwater Spring, the National Park Service and Mississippi River Fund, together with help from thousands of volunteers, have cleared old growth buckthorn from 29 acres over the past 3 years. Though we will continue to deal with sprouting seedlings for years to come, we hope that these efforts will improve the oak savanna and woodland habitats at this important historical and cultural place. Though we will probably never completely rid the world of buckthorn, restoring natural spaces for native plants to survive will help create places for birds, frogs, and people to thrive.
|Volunteers have removed buckthorn from many areas in our National Park|