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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biology


Conely K. McMullen


Riparian zones harbor an above average plant biodiversity. This biodiversity is threatened by invasive species and increasing human disturbance, the latter of which includes deforestation from agriculture and urban development. In this study, I examine relationship between the width of a forested riparian zone and the vegetation growing there. By using floristic quality assessment as a measure of anthropogenic disturbance, one can determine if wider riparian zones foster exclusion of non-native species while providing higher quality habitats for native plants. A randomized block design was used with three forested riparian treatments: deforested, moderately forested (woody vegetationstream), and extensively forested (woody vegetation >50m wide from the stream). There was a significant difference in the floristic quality and percent native species between riparian zones with deforested, moderately forested, and extensively forested riparian zones (P

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