Bring Me a Shrubbery: A Study of Native Amphibian and Mammal Responses to Native Deciduous Plant Community Restoration in Wooster, Ohio

Grant Sprague

Name: Grant Sprague
Major: Biology
Minor: Environmental Studies
Advisors: Dr. Lehtinen
Second reader: Dr. Brandley

Invasive species are a growing threat to global biodiversity, as they are capable of dramatically altering the environment. Native communities often see an overall negative response following the introduction of an invasive species; however, individual species may see benefits if they are well suited to the new conditions. Because of this complex relationship between native and invasive species, community restoration projects involving the removal of invasive species can be difficult. In this study, I experimentally measured the impacts of native shrub community restoration on native fauna following the removal of invasive plants in two second-growth deciduous forests. While invasive plants can impact all groups of vertebrates, this study aims to assess the effects of invasive plant control on native mammals and salamanders. Forest plots saw varying levels of native plant community restoration, including a control, in which no invasive plants were removed; an unplanted treatment, with invasive plants removed; and a planted treatment, with invasive plants removed and native shrubs planted. Each treatment was replicated twelve times. The results of this study show that the two salamander study species, Plethodon electromorphus and P. cinereus, saw dramatically different responses to the restoration, while of all mammal species found, only Odocoileus virginianus saw a significant response to the restoration. The different responses by native species showcases the variety of interactions that may form following invasion and subsequent restoration, where one species may see an increase in abundance, while others may suffer.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.

4 responses to “Bring Me a Shrubbery: A Study of Native Amphibian and Mammal Responses to Native Deciduous Plant Community Restoration in Wooster, Ohio”

  1. Rick Lehtinen says:

    Love that title! Awesome job Grant!

  2. Saralee says:

    What a good title! Proud of you!

  3. Lisa Sprague says:

    Great job, Grant! We are so proud of you!

  4. Carolyn Klein says:

    Best IS title I’ve ever seen. Congrats Grant!

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