Browsing by Author "Kuczmarski, Paige"
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- ItemFirst and second year survival of invasive garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) in Edmonton(2016) Kuczmarski, Paige; Hills, MelissaGarlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), a highly invasive biennial plant species, was first discovered in Alberta in 2010. It is present in two urban ravines in Edmonton and one in St. Albert. Introduced from Europe, this invasive species can be found in 37 US states and 7 Canadian provinces. This species rapidly invades forest ecosystems by dominating native vegetation. Garlic mustard is a threat to Edmonton’s River Valley due to its highly interconnected nature and the many native flora and fauna that inhabit this area. Understanding the population dynamics of an invasive species is critical to making informed management decisions. Previous research on the population dynamics of garlic mustard in other regions has reported high mortality in the first year and low second year mortality. The goal of our project was to assess garlic mustard mortality in its first and second year of growth within Edmonton’s central parkland subregion. To assess first year mortality fifteen 0.5 m2 quadrats were established in spring and monitored with biweekly counts over the first growing season in 2014 and 2015. To assess second year mortality fifteen 0.5 m2 quadrats were established in fall and then relocated in spring and monitored with biweekly counts over the second growing season in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Overall, first year mortality was 27% in 2014 and 2015 and second year mortality was 31% and 47%, respectively. This research will contribute to a broader understanding of the population dynamics of this species and may inform management decisions.
- ItemThe effect of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) on the diversity and composition of oribatid mite communities(2017) Kuczmarski, Paige; Flaherty, LeahGarlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata, Brassicaceae) is a non-native plant that rapidly invades North American forest understories. While garlic mustard has been shown to impact native vegetation, the effect on belowground communities, which are essential in controlling nutrient availability and decomposition, is unclear. My objectives were to investigate the impact of garlic mustard invasion on the community composition and species richness of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatidae), which are bioindicators of soil health in forest ecosystems. Soil samples were obtained in June 2016 from two sites: Mill Creek Ravine, Edmonton AB and Broadmoor Public Golf Course, Sherwood Park AB. A paired sampling strategy was used to compare areas colonized with garlic mustard to those with native vegetation. Soil samples were collected from six pairs of plots, equalling 12 samples at each of the two sites, for a total of 24 samples. Following Berlese funnel extraction, oribatid mites ≥300 µm were identified. The effect of site and garlic mustard invasion on oribatid species richness, will be evaluated using mixed-model ANOVA and individual-based rarefaction. Oribatid community composition will be assessed with non-metric multidimensional scaling. This project will improve understanding of the impact of invasive species, particularly garlic mustard, on belowground communities.