Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Dana Dudle

Second Advisor

Dr. Nichole Lobdell


Purpose Statement:

The purpose of this work is to study the language used in invasive species biology, to examine the meaning of the invasive label, and to apply these considerations to a geographical 9 study of Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia. I will explore current issues with the study of invasive species and present the kind of study for which I advocate. The implications of this work fall into politics, science writing, and resource management. Throughout the work I will be interrogating the definition of invasive species and the associated language used for plants that are called invasive. After an introduction to some of the drawbacks the presence of Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia have been shown to have in past studies, I will attempt to put aside, until the conclusion of the paper, any preconceived biases against invasive species as a group to fully consider the questions at hand. In my studies I have found that designations authoritatively applied are not so clear as they imply. Given such a lack of clarity, I will argue that the harmfulness of Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, and all invasive species must be proven in context. Universal harmfulness cannot be assumed due to an organism’s status as invasive species while this term remains ill-defined and linguistically loaded. The last section of this work will focus on the quarry floor as a landform that is undergoing primary succession which will lead to a climax community which is yet to be determined and the Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia mapping project that I performed in the fall of 2020 and past students have undertaken in the last fifteen years.

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Biology Commons