Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Alejandro Fierro-Cabo
Dr. Andrew McDonald
Restoration of thorn scrub and thorn forest communities in South Texas is hindered by harsh environmental conditions and hypercompetitive invasive grasses. The success of thorn scrub/thorn forest restoration efforts depends on increasing seedling survival and growth by reducing stress after transplantation. Four experiments evaluated initial effects of plant-plant interactions and nutrient manipulation on thorn forest restoration. High density planting along with the use of nurse plants look promising; survival was generally higher under these conditions and growth was unaffected or in the case of high-density planting, promoted. Nutrient sequestration by sorghum had little effect on seedling performance and cover of grass and other plants, but localized fertilization benefited the seedlings. Allelopathy is promising; however, field studies must be performed to confirm benefits in the field. Overall positive plant-plant interactions resulted higher survival and growth in this study and should be implemented as thorn scrub and thorn forest restoration strategies.
Vasquez, Edgar D., "Exploring Plant-Plant Interactions and Nutrient Manipulation as Strategies for Thorn Scrub and Thorn Forest Restoration" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 766.