While arthropod herbivory on invasive plant species is generally low, herbivory by generalist mammals is often high. We tested whether exclusion of white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, increased the cover and growth of Lonicera maackii, an invasive shrub, in forested natural areas in Ohio, U.S.A. We found leaf frequency of L. maackii in two height ranges, 0.5–1 m and 1–1.5 m, was significantly greater where deer had been excluded for 4 y. Furthermore, the basal area growth of these shrubs over 5 y tended to be higher, and the final basal area of small shrubs was significantly higher, in exclosures. These findings, along with direct evidence of deer browse from the literature, indicate deer browse on this invasive shrub is sufficient to affect its architecture and growth, and potentially mitigate its negative effect on native plants.
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