Title

EFFECTS OF INVASIVE LONICERA MAACKII ON BAT ACTIVITY VIA CHANGES IN VEGETATION STRUCTURE AND FOOD RESOURCES

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science

Major

Biology

Date of Defense

4-20-2015

Graduate Advisor

Robert Marquis, Ph.D.

Committee

Patricia Parker

Robert Ricklefs

Abstract

I investigated how the invasive plant, bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), influences the foraging of insectivorous bats in forests. In Chapter 1, I review the literature on how invasive plant species influence terrestrial vertebrates and outline two mechanisms -- changes to vegetative structure and food resources -- through which vertebrate consumers are influenced. I review the positive and negative ways each mechanism can affect vertebrates and when available, provide examples from the literature. In Chapter 2, I present the results of a study designed to determine the effects of bush honeysuckle on vegetation structure, arthropod communities, and foraging activity of insectivorous bats in deciduous forests of Missouri. I found that bush honeysuckle increased vegetative density but did not affect abundance or biomass of arthropods. Bat activity was negatively affected by changes to vegetative structure due to increasing honeysuckle height and density.

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