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The effects on aboveground biodiversity of a community invaded with the grass Schedonorus pratensis associated with the endophyte Neotyphodium uncinatum.

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Title: The effects on aboveground biodiversity of a community invaded with the grass Schedonorus pratensis associated with the endophyte Neotyphodium uncinatum.
Author: Shukla, Kruti
Department: School of Environmental Sciences
Program: Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Newman, Jonathan A.
Abstract: Schedonorus pratensis is European forage grass associated with the systemic, vertically transmitted, endophytic fungus Neotyphodium uncinatum. Endophyte infected (E+) grasses have been observed to have mutualistic properties with the grass that increase its competitive advantage over plant heterospecifics and anti-herbivorous properties. These benefits have been observed mainly in managed agronomic conditions. My research is aimed at answering the question: how are plant and arthropod communities altered when natural communities are invaded by endophyte infected S.pratensis. Plant and aboveground arthropod communities were sampled in unmanaged communities invaded by E+ and E- grasses. My work suggests that three years after the initial invasion, communities invaded with E+ grasses were actually more biodiverse than communities invaded with E- grasses and differences in the plant community composition did not affect the associated invertebrate community. It may be that S.pratensis as an invader may be less harmful than other grass-endophyte combinations in a natural community.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/7468
Date: 2013-09
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