Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Dr. Songlin Fei

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Arthur

Abstract

Invasive exotic plant species have been recognized as serious threats to ecosystems. Extensive research on invasive exotic plant species has primarily focused on the impacts, characteristics, and potential treatments. Decision tools and management models that incorporate these findings often lack input from managers and have limited use in differing invasion scenarios. Therefore, in this study, I created a scientifically-driven framework that incorporates expert input to prioritize watersheds for management within the Inner Bluegrass region of Kentucky. The widely distributed invasive exotic plant Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) was used as an example species. The framework is built around the Analytic Hierarchy Process and highlights areas in most need of invasive exotic plant management by incorporating weighted landscape variables associated with the invasion process. Results of the prioritization provide useful information for natural resource managers by aiding in the development of control strategies while also creating a valuable framework that can be adapted to various invasive exotic plant species.

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