2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Analysis of Ant Genus Richness in Experimentally Cleared and Populated Elaegnus umbellata Sites


Benjamin M. Fry* and Alexander B. Mitchell
Dr. Ben Wodika, Faculty Mentor

Invasive flora such as Elaegnus umbellata can have a negative impact on native species. The invasive shrub E. umbetllata is a pervasive, fast growing plant that crowds out native vegetation by creating large areas of shade and taking up space where native plants might otherwise grow. Ants, as a bioindicator for ecological conditions, were collected in order to measure their genus level richness in areas populated by and experimentally cleared of E. umbellata. Our findings suggested that areas cleared of E. umbellata have a significantly higher genus richness than those populated by E. umbellata, though further sample collections will need to be conducted to conclusively confirm this. This data lends credibility to the conclusion that while E. umbellata is detrimental to native flora, recovery is possible for ecosystems affected by the invasive species after the shrub is cleared.

 

Keywords: Elaegnus umbellat, ants, invasive flora, genus richness, bioindicators , ecological conditions, insects, autumn olive

Topic(s):Biology
Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: TBA
Location: TBA
Time: TBA

* Indicates the Student Presenter

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