Native plants may coevolve with native arthropods and may be associated with greater arthropod diversity than non-native plants. Thompson Mills Forest, a state arboretum owned by the University of Georgia and located in Braselton, GA, is home to a variety of oak (Quercus L., Fagacaeae) species, both native and non-native to Georgia. Arthropods were sampled from 20 trees belonging to 12 species, 8 native and 4 non-native, using beat sheets for 10 consecutive weeks in 2018. More than 500 arthropods were collected, with Coleoptera, Araneae, and Psocodea comprising more than 70% of the arthropods collected. Neither abundance nor Shannon index varied among trees of native or non-native origin or among tree species, although both variables peaked during the middle of the sampling period. Multivariate analyses showed similar arthropod communities were associated with native and non-native oaks. The results suggest that non-native plants may naturalize and, if so, may interact with arthropod communities in similar ways as native congeners. Further research into the long-term ecological interactions with non-native plants is recommended.
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Vol. 57 • No. 3