Distribution and Dominance Patterns of Invasive Species at the Albion College Whitehouse Nature Center
Miller, Joshua N.
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Invasive species cause devastating economic and ecological damage every year. Many hypotheses help explain aspects of invasive plant biology such as means of invasion or factors that can make a community susceptible to invasion. Synthesizing these hypotheses, consensus among literature exempts invasive plants from interspecific competition. However, very little literature exists on interactions between different species of invasive plants, and many areas are ravaged by unchecked plant invasions. The Albion College Whitehouse Nature Center is one such area, with invasive plants present throughout the entire property. Using two prevalent species at the WNC, Garlic Mustard (Alliariapetiolate) and Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), patterns of dominance on cohabitated plots of land can be used to determine whether the species are engaging in interspecific competition. Results indicate that selective pressures act on these interactions in a way that grants Dames Rocket a competitive advantage over Garlic Mustard, although further research is required to identify what factors are responsible for this selective pressure.