Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Genetic determination of phragmites and small mammals use of remnant patches along the Central Platte River, Nebraska
by Frisch, Jennifer Dawn, M.S., University of Nebraska at Kearney, 2015, 81; 1588606
Abstract (Summary)

Invasive phragmites (Phragmites australis) has encroached on the central Platte River in recent years potentially out-competing native stands of phragmites. Invasive stands are thought to have an overall negative impact on ecosystems, but do provide ecological benefits to some species as food or shelter. Little research has been conducted on its impacts on small mammals. The goals of this project were to identify potential native and invasive stands along the central Platte River and determine small mammals use of invasive phragmites. I examined 35 phragmites samples along the central Platte River using restriction fragment length polymorphism. I used molecular sequencing and morphological features to identify stands. All samples were determined to be invasive. Four study sites along the Platte River were selected to evaluate phragmites use and potential impacts on small mammals. Each study site was in a wooded grassland area and consisted of three patches of invasive phragmites and three patches of wooded grassland vegetation. Study sites were sampled using Sherman live traps from April to October 2014. I found no significant difference in overall small mammal use between vegetation types and no seasonal difference between use of phragmites and wooded grassland stands. I did, however, catch fewer individuals in both habitat types during August. Deer mice ( Peromyscus maniculatus) selected native vegetation whereas the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) and meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius) selected phragmites. Capture of hispid cotton rat was the first documentation of this species in Dawson County, Nebraska. Differences in selection by these species could be attributed to their different life histories or habitat preferences. The focus of management for invasive phragmites may not need to focus on total eradication. Additional sampling would be required to document the spatial extent of native phragmites stands along the central Platte River.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Springer, Joseph T.
Commitee: Baasch, David, Geluso, Keith, Simon, Dawn
School: University of Nebraska at Kearney
Department: Biology
School Location: United States -- Nebraska
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Management
Keywords: Common reed, Invasive, Phragmites australis, Small mammals
Publication Number: 1588606
ISBN: 9781321745566
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