Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Environmental Health Sciences

Sub-Department

Earth and Environmental Resources Management

First Advisor

John Nelson

Second Advisor

Carol Boggs

Abstract

Stachys caroliniana J.B. Nelson & D.A. Rayner, a newly described ‘hedge-nettle’ is found in two locations in South Carolina. The first known collection of this species is from the Santee Coastal Reserve in Charleston County. The second location (the type locality) is from the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center in Georgetown County, approximately 8 air miles northeast of the first location. This study focused on the population in Georgetown County. Population dynamics of Stachys caroliniana were studied in order to provide management guidelines to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for this species. This was achieved by assessing suitable habitat conditions, response to disturbance, and reproductive potential. A floristic inventory was taken, as well as a survey for additional populations. The effects of shade, types of flooding and competing species were determined, in addition to evaluating both sexual and asexual reproductive potential. The amount of shade and type of flooding proved to have significant effects on plant density. Weeding treatments to remove competing species did not have a significant effect on population density or proportion of reproductive plants. It was concluded that S. caroliniana’s main method of reproduction is asexual, through the spreading of rhizomes. No additional populations were found during surveys. Additional studies that should be further explored are discussed.

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