Mississippi State University
Harkess, Richard L.
Fox, Amelia A. A.
Rodgers, John C.
Byrd, Jr. John D.
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Plant and Soil Sciences (Horticulture)
Master of Science
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a primary larval food source for the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Planting more butterfly weed may stimulate declining monarch populations. To that end, a habitat suitability map was created for Mississippi in GIS using soil pH, soil texture, and land cover. Herbarium data were derived from the Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections (SERNEC) database. Environmental data were from the USDA National Resource Conservation Service geospatial data gateway. Frequency analysis was used to assign scores to environmental variables of SERNEC occurrences using a suitability index. Global positioning systems (GPS) locations of butterfly weed were collected to validate the model. The most suitable model with 78.9% of GPS points in medium to high suitability was a weighted sum overlay with land cover 50%, soil pH 25%, and soil texture 25%. The suitability map may enable conservationists to identify suitable sites for butterfly weed in Mississippi.
Neigel, Emma Rose, "Mapping Potential Butterfly Weed (Asclepias Tuberosa) Habitat in Mississippi Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 3010.