This research begins with a fundamental exploration of evolutionary processes involved in a plant species invasion and then expands into evaluation of biocontrol of the species, based on management concerns. The current state of invasion inquiry often places too much emphasis on evaluation of specific 'invasive traits' of the study organism. This research attempts to refocus on what evolutionary processes may be important in invasiveness and then to leverage data gathered to explore a possible control mechanism. This kind of approach has the theoretical advantage of identifying why current trait-based predictive models of invasion are unsuccessful, while still advancing practical goals of improving forestry management. This research will provide important information about the evolutionary process fueling the success of M. vimineum in invading forests in North America which will then be utilized to design and implement appropriate forest management practices. This research may also result in a new biocontrol agent being identified to help forests managers control M. vimineum invasions.
|Effective start/end date||7/1/10 → 9/30/13|