Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Felicia Keesing

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Ecosystems can experience profound effects caused by introduced invasive plant species, including alterations to species richness, density, and trophic functionality. Invasive plants change natural communities and the way species interact in those systems, which disturb mutualisms critical for a healthy bionetwork. One such invasive plant species in the herb Alliaria petiolata, more commonly known as garlic mustard. The roots of garlic mustard leach chemicals into the soil, which are known to be effective antifungal compounds. These compounds disrupt belowground ecosystems, altering the presence of many species, including the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana, a fungus known to suppress populations of pest invertebrates such as blacklegged ticks.

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