Great Basin Naturalist


Ten plant communities containing bitter nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) were studied and the ecology and naturalizing relationships of bitter nightshade in central Utah area were investigated. Biotic and abiotic factors from each area were statistically analyzed. The data indicated that bitter nightshade was negatively correlated (P < 0.01) with perennial grass cover and positively correlated with tree overstory. Bitter nightshade reached its highest development in heavily shaded areas. No other habitat factors correlated with the presence of bitter nightshade. This lack of environmental constraints along with bitter nightshade's bright red fruits, which are readily consumed by birds, suggests possible reasons for the rapid and successful invasion of the plant into the Utah Lake area.