Invasive Specieswoody nightshade

Solanum dulcamara
FOUND by paraxanthine
2015-09-24
Bangor
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by ethanol
Peer reviewed by zirconiumtetrahydroxide
Field Notes
I am happy, because the weather is perfect, and we are having a good day. We are also happy, because we found the Woody Nightshade without difficulty. Everything we needed was right in front of us. This is why we are happy. I can see the other scientists mulling around, looking for the invasive species. We can also see the Woody Nightshade, and the Japanese Knotweed, another invasive species. There are several Japanese Beetles on the Knotweed, eating the leaves. I can hear other people talking about their observations. We can also hear leaves rustling on the nearby maple tree. I can smell the scent of the nightshade berry we squished to investigate the seeds. I can also smell other plants, and the smell of wet grass and leaves. I am surprised that there are so many little seeds in a single berry. (about 30) It is cool that birds can eat these berries even though most mammals cannot. I am also surprised that there are so many invasive species in this area, but there are very few in other areas even though these other areas are only less than 100 yards away. A question we had while doing our research was how do birds ingest these poisonous berries, but other animals cannot? Also; Why are the seeds in the green berries bigger that the seeds in the red berries? A problem we ran into was that we could not find out invasive species on the right side of the school, so for the first couple of days we were unfortunate when we were trying to find invasive species. After we moved to the left side of the school, we were more fortunate and we found more than 10 different invasive species. Once we started on the woody nightshade, we were fine and our problems were solved.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
I know that we found the woody nightshade, because the leaves were dark green, with a purplish hue, like the packet stated. They were roughly arrow shaped, with smaller lobes at the bottom of each leaf.
Photo of my evidence.
We found the small egg shaped poisonous berries, that make the nightshade so deadly. These berries were mostly red, but we found a few almost ripe berries, colored orange and yellow. Each berry had roughly 30 small seeds, that were ingestible by birds, but not mammals. These birds distributed the seeds. These berries appear in August through mid October.
The upper stems were slender and flexible, while the lower base stems were woody, and tough. The upper stems were a dark green, while the lower stems were a light beige. They had a strong, unique odor.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Solanum dulcamara
Common name:
woody nightshade
Count of individuals: 
10-20
Coverage: 
Reproduction: 
Fruit (plants)
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
Latitude: 
N 44.811072 °
Longitude: 
W -68.755690 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Habitat: 
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
Name:
William S. Cohen Middle School
Trip date: 
Thu, 2015-09-24 10:38
Town or city: 
Bangor
Type of investigation: 
Species and Habitat Survey
Ecosystem: 
Upland
Watershed: 
Penobscot
Habitat Observations
Species diversity: 
8 different species
Evidence of vectors: 
Paved road
People
Construction
Birds
Tree canopy cover: 
Open to 1/4 covered
Soil moisture: 
Moist

Comments

I love the detail you went into in your description, and the awesome sketch you made! That is interesting that you could only find woody nightshade on one side of your school. Why do you think that is?

I think you are correct in your previous comment that having a lot of seeds in each berry helps the plant reproduce and could contribute to it being an invasive species.

Thanks for sharing, and stay curious!

It's interesting that you counted the seeds. That does seem like many seeds for such a small fruit. How do you think that might contribute to the invasive nature of this species?

Nice work!

-Christine

We think that because there are so many seeds, the plant can easily reproduce many plants at a time. This may lead to becoming an invasive species.