Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Volker Bahn (Advisor), Don Cipollini (Committee Member), John Stireman (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The Evolution of Increased Competitive Ability (EICA) hypothesis predicts that subsequent to introduction, non-native plants escape enemies and selection favors genotypes that invest more in growth and reproduction and less in resistance. Here, I evaluated if the invasive Asian grass Microstegium vimineum has developed decreased resistance in its introduced range of the eastern US, as predicted by the EICA hypothesis. Asian and US genotypes were evaluated for differences in enemy damage, leaf toughness, specific leaf area (SLA), and flowering in a common garden experiment. Leaf damage, SLA, and flower production were greater and leaf toughness lower in US plants. These results, along with the previously reported faster growth of US populations, appear to support the EICA hypothesis. However, a common garden study should be conducted in the native range to evaluate if differences between US and Asian genotypes were influenced by environmental conditions of the introduced range.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biological Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Biology Commons