Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Colin Jackson

Relational Format



Invasive species can spread into native ecosystems and become dominant species. The spread of invasive species is one of the largest threats to biodiversity. Microstegium vimineum is an annual C4 grass that is native to various parts of Asia. M. vimineum was introduced to the United States in the early twentieth century and has rapidly spread due to its high seed production. This study examined the effects of M. vimineum invasion on the composition of the soil bacterial community. Soil samples were collected from two woodland sites in northern Mississippi in November 2014 and 2015. The presence of M. vimineum was noted during 2015 sampling. DNA was extracted from each sample and next generation Illumina sequencing was used to sequence part of the 16S rRNA gene for the bacterial community. The soil bacterial community differed between 2014 and 2015 and between the two sites. A significant difference in the bacterial community was found between plots with and without M. vimineum at one site, but it was not seen at the other. While the results are suggestive of a difference in the soil bacterial community between plots with and without M. vimineum, more studies need to be performed to more fully determine its effect.

Included in

Biology Commons



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