how ivy, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, any other fast growing vine or plant, don’t take over an entire area and destroy a forest?

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how ivy, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, any other fast growing vine or plant, don’t take over an entire area and destroy a forest?

In: Biology

Every living creature has a limit of size produced by the physics of their biology. While the capillary effect can transfer water very long distances with minimal resistance, the transfer of nutrients becomes a different story.

If you wanted to transfer supplies a long distance, it requires resources just to maintain the route, so your need to carry resources for maintaining the route along the way and the evolutionary infrastructure isn’t quite capable of that. Especially since they’re competing for resources to grow further in the process.

Virgina Creeper likes more light than forests provide… as far as I can tell with my endless fight with it!

Where I live it doesn’t go far beyond the borders of the woods, but it loves partial sunlight!

Native species usually have native predators (well, herbivores) in the area that act to control their population. After all, if something becomes super common in an environment, it represents a big untapped food source. Additionally, local plants are likely to be adapted to deal with it because anything that just gets overgrown won’t survive.

If you introduce species (like, say, Kudzu) from somewhere else, though, then they can expand to take over an entire area because they lack these balancing forces.. Although your standard yellow honeysuckle isn’t actually native, but invasive species don’t always overgrow everything like kudzu. Kudzu in particular is good at growing really long vines from a large central tuber, honeysuckle usually can’t really get way up in trees.

Kudzu does this thought the South. While fronting down the interstate you can sometimes see patches on mountainsides where every tree is covered add it’s a slowly spreading circle of kudzu.

Like others have said, kudzu does exactly this.

There are places in the South up through Kentucky where you’ll see nothing but seas of it.

Contrary to what the others are saying, but in line with what /u/spamattacker says, kudzu also prefers to live at the edges. Sure from the interstate all you can see is kudzu as you drive through, that’s because the interstate strip is one big open slash through the forest, and both sides of it are edges. Kudzu loves that. Same with the banks of streams or whatever. But deeper in the forest, there’s not much of it at all. It doesn’t like fighting through the undergrowth and shade on the inside of the forest.

>Railroad and highway developers, desperate for something to cover the steep and unstable gashes they were carving into the land, planted the seedlings far and wide. There were kudzu queens and regionwide kudzu planting contests. By the early 1940s, Cope had started the Kudzu Club of America, with a membership of 20,000 and a goal of planting eight million acres across the South.
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>Kudzu has appeared larger than life because it’s most aggressive when planted along road cuts and railroad embankments—habitats that became front and center in the age of the automobile. As trees grew in the cleared lands near roadsides, kudzu rose with them. It appeared not to stop because there were no grazers to eat it back. But, in fact, it rarely penetrates deeply into a forest; it climbs well only in sunny areas on the forest edge and suffers in shade.
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>It was an invasive that grew best in the landscape modern Southerners were most familiar with—the roadsides framed in their car windows. It was conspicuous even at 65 miles per hour, reducing complex and indecipherable landscape details to one seemingly coherent mass. And because it looked as if it covered everything in sight, few people realized that the vine often fizzled out just behind that roadside screen of green.
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>the U.S. Forest Service reports that kudzu occupies, to some degree, about 227,000 acres of forestland, an area about the size of a small county and about one-sixth the size of Atlanta. That’s about one-tenth of 1 percent of the South’s 200 million acres of forest. By way of comparison, the same report estimates that Asian privet had invaded some 3.2 million acres—14 times kudzu’s territory. Invasive roses had covered more than three times as much forestland as kudzu.
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>– https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/true-story-kudzu-vine-ate-south-180956325/