Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor

Steve Stephenson

Committee Member

Johnnie Gentry

Second Committee Member

John Willson

Third Committee Member

Jason Tullis

Abstract

Invasive species present a threat to native communities and their introduction and expansion can alter community structure and dynamics. Multiple approaches can be employed for invasive species management including prevention and detection. In this study, microhabitat assessments were conducted on colonies of five species of invasive plants, Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande, Lespedeza cuneata (Dum. Cours.) G. Don, Lonicera japonica Thunb., Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus, and Rosa multiflora Thunb. in the Ozark Plateau and Appalachians. Elevation, soil moisture, soil pH, light ratio, slope, aspect, distance to disturbance, as well as soil nutrient levels were recorded for each colony. A series of multiple linear regression models and simple linear regressions to attempt to predict colony stem count as well as Daubenmire cover class comparisons for each species were conducted for the two ecoregions as well as together to assess each species. There were various amounts of success at determining which environmental and soil variables play a role in determining colony size for these species and some difference were detected across species for cover class comparisons.

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