Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Megan A. Rua, Ph.D. (Advisor); Don Cipollini, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Laura Rouhana, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Midwestern forests are currently impacted by two prominent invaders, Agrilus planipennis and Lonicera maackii. The Ag. planipennis induced loss of Fraxinus spp. trees can facilitate Lo. maackii invasion, which is likely altering microbial driven forest nutrient cycling. To assess these changes in microbial processes, I conducted litter bag and culture-based decomposition experiments using leaf litter from Acer spp., Quercus spp., F. nigra, F. pennsylvanica, Lindera benzoin, and Lo. maackii. For the culture-based decomposition experiment, I inoculated six species of fungi separately onto both single species and multispecies (half Lo. maackii and half native spp.) leaf litter and measured decomposition rate, fungal growth and enzymatic activity. Both Lo. maackii and multispecies leaf litter had faster decomposition, increased fungal growth, and higher carbon degrading enzyme activities than native species leaf litter. Thus, forests affected by this dual invasion will have faster decomposition, potentially resulting in an influx of nutrients for nutrient cycling.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biological Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Biology Commons