Advisor

Rogers, C. John

Date of Degree

5-1-2010

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Geosciences

Abstract

Casuarina equisetifolia L. is a noxious plant species known to be invasive in the West Indies. Not much is known about its impact on its host environment. This study’s objective was to quantitatively compare physical and chemical soil differences between sites dominated by and devoid of Casuarinas. This study also conducted growth chamber experiments to determine potential for allelopathy. It was demonstrated that sites dominated by Casuarinas differed significantly in K, P, organic matter, and leaf litter depth. Application of Casuarinas leachate showed reduction in germination of radish and bean seeds by at least 32% and 70%, respectively. Once germinated no growth suppression of seedlings were observed with applications of Casuarinas leachate. Investigation with liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) revealed the potential presence of the allelochemical chalepin. This research demonstrates that Casuarinas have the potential to modify their host environment and therefore perpetuate their existence as a noxious invasive species.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/15071

Comments

soil modification||allelopathy||Casuarina equisetifolia

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