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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Verrico, Brittany [1], Kilgore, Jason [2].

Life stage fluctuations in garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) abundance: incorporating long-term ecological monitoring into an undergraduate curriculum .

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive biennial forb of eastern North American deciduous forests that exhibits oscillating life stage abundance within a given population. As part of a Long-term Ecological Monitoring (LEM) program, garlic mustard abundance will have been monitored by undergraduate interns (Summers 09, 10) and students from introductory biology (Fall 09, 10), botany (Spring 10, 11), and experimental biology (Summer 11) courses. Abundance of rosettes and adults were recorded from 80 plots over 10 transects in a 57-acre biological field station. From Summer 2009 to 2010, abundance of garlic mustard rosettes significantly decreased in 3 of 8 transects (95% CI of difference in means), while abundance of adults significantly decreased in 2 transects; the other transects had no significant (alpha = 0.05) difference in abundance of either life stage across years. Within plots, change in rosette abundance was negatively correlated (r = -0.39, p < 0.001) with change in adult abundance. This relatively weak relationship may be due to late Summer germinants contributing to the following year's adult cohort; we plan to track germinants through the Summer to test this hypothesis. These results support the notion that populations of this invasive biennial undergo fluctuations in life stage abundance, likely as a result of high seed production and strong density dependence, including an interaction between rosette and adult life stages. Furthermore, monitoring of garlic mustard populations as part of the LEM program has successfully been integrated into the biology curriculum thus exposing a wider range of students to long-term botanical studies.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Washington & Jefferson College, 50 South Lincoln Street, Box 1328, Washington, PA, 15301, USA
2 - Washington & Jefferson College, 60 South Lincoln Street, Washington, PA, 15301, USA

garlic mustard
life stage
long-term ecological monitoring
undergraduate research.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Khorassan Ballroom/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEC021
Abstract ID:664

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