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Invasive exotic species are a significant threat to ecosystems across the globe and pose a monumental challenge for resource managers. The mechanisms by which these species impact ecosystems are imperfectly understood and science is still without a unified theory to explain how these species usurp habitat space, displacing natives. Invasive species dominance may be partially explained by escape from pathogens that suppress native plants, or disruption of native mutualisms. A relatively unstudied aspect is the relationship between invasive species and microorganisms inhabiting soil. Lonicera maackii is a model invasive species that impacts forests in the Miami Valley of southwestern Ohio. In this study we will focus specifically on colonization of roots by the microbial community and potential feedbacks to plant growth. The microbial community on L. maackii roots will be compared to that of native species using a metabolic profiling technique.

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Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Ryan W. McEwan

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

The Micro-Ecology of Plant Invasion: Assessing Impacts of the Invasive 
Exotic Shrub Lonicera maackii on the Ecology of Soil Microbial