Term of Award

Spring 2002

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Biology

Committee Chair

Lorne M. Wolfe

Committee Member 1

Denson K. McLain

Committee Member 2

Lissa M. Leege

Abstract

The majority of studies in invasion ecology have focused on the individual in its new habitat or attributes of habitats that are invaded. There is a need for studies that explore the biology of species in native and introduced ranges. The goal of my thesis is to determine if an invasive plant has had a shift in life history traits after introduction. The study species was Silene latifolia. Also, when organisms leaves their native range, they also escape their natural enemies. The escape-from-enemies hypothesis theorizes that plants which escape natural enemies will shift more energy to growth and reproduction. Introduced plants should exhibit increased competitive ability compared to native plants. I will determine if introduced plants show increased competitive ability compared to natives.

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