1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Human impacts on the environment are altering species composition in many of the nation's national parks. One such impact is the increase in invasive plant species which are quickly over-running many of the native plant species. One such invasive species is Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vineum). The objective of the current research is to quantify human impacts, particularly nitrogen deposition, carbon dioxide and light on the ability of this species to grow and propagate.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Working with the National Park Service’s Center for Urban Ecology, we will obtain local seed from stiltgrass populations and determine growth and seed production utilizing a range of nitrogen deposition rates and carbon dioxide concentrations under glasshouse and growth chamber conditions. Data will be utilized in a multiple regression model in order to ascertain whether human induced changes in macroclimate near the D.C. area will contribute to the perniciousness of this invasive species.
3. Progress Report
An implementation plan for research to be conducted has been developed and was submitted to the National Park Service (NPS) in February 2009. We are waiting for a response from the NPS. No meetings have been scheduled as yet. A site visit for Catoctin National Park took place in February of 2009.