Date of Award

7-2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. John Hunter

Abstract

For woody exotics in the western half of New York state, I have compiled data from herbaria, published literature, professional judgment and field surveys to determine the naturalization status of these non-native species. Based upon herbaria collections over the last 163 years, a total of 1 19 non-native woody species were collected in western New York. Of the 119 species, collection labels indicated only 12 species were naturalized. Similarly, floras described just 18 species as naturalized.

In contrast; 69 species were considered naturalized by respondents to a survey of the region's botanists, and in my field survey, naturalized populations were documented for 44 species. Furthermore, even when collection labels, literature or professionals stated a species was naturalized, this was not clear-cut evidence of naturalization because the terms naturalization and naturalized were inconsistently defined and applied. For this reason, my concluded statuses are based primarily on my field surveys and then supported by herbaria collection data, literature and expert opinion. I have concluded that 44 species now have naturalized populations, 23 are escaping, 30 are persisting and the remaining 23 species have not been collected in the past 50 years are likely only persisting in isolated areas or no longer present in the region.

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