Master of Science (MS)
First Advisor's Name
Jennifer H. Richards
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Committee Title
invasive plants, ferns, lygodium microphyllum, old world climbing fern, prescribed fire, infestation management, control, spores, spore viability, heat tolerance, spore age
Date of Defense
Lygodium microphyllum, native to the Old World tropics, has invaded central and southern Florida, destroying native habitats, reducing biodiversity and altering fire regimes. Prescribed fire, one of several methods used to manage L. microphyllum infestations, reduces fern biomass over large areas, but its effects on spore viability are unknown. To provide tools to evaluate whether fire-dispersed spores are viable, this research determined how heat affects spore viability. Spores were exposed to temperatures of 50°C to 300°C for durations of 5 seconds to 1 hour, then allowed to germinate on agar in petri plates. Percent germination was assayed after two weeks. Temperatures of 50°C had little effect; 300°C killed spores for all durations. Results indicate that while viability of unburnt spores decreases with increasing temperature and duration of heat exposure, spores are killed when exposed to relatively low temperatures compared to those in fires.
Sebesta, Nicole, "The Effects of Fire on Spore Viability of Lygodium microphyllum (Old World Climbing Fern)" (2015). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2203.
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