Feral Hog (Sus Scrofa) Disturbance in Seepage Slope Wetlands

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Material Information

Title:
Feral Hog (Sus Scrofa) Disturbance in Seepage Slope Wetlands
Physical Description:
1 online resource (113 p.)
Language:
english
Creator:
Brown, Megan E
Publisher:
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Interdisciplinary Ecology
Committee Chair:
MILLER,DEBORAH LOUISE
Committee Co-Chair:
GORDON,DORIA R
Committee Members:
ADAMS,CARRIE R
KITCHENS,WILEY MIRF
HIERS,JOHN KEVIN

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
disturbance -- feral -- hog -- pitcherplant -- seepage -- slope
Interdisciplinary Ecology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre:
Interdisciplinary Ecology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract:
Florida is home to one of North America's most unique and diverse natural ecosystems, the seepage slope wetland. Unusual hydrology and frequent fires have resulted in a habitat that supports a variety of insectivorous and other endemic, helophytic herbaceous plants. Feral hog (Sus scrofa) foraging has resulted in widespread soil disturbances in seepage slope wetlands on Eglin Air Force Base, in the Florida Panhandle. It is proposed that feral hog rooting is a serious threat to this community because rooting sets back succession, causes changes in species composition and plant population structure, reduces unique species, and inhibits fire spread. These potential changes in the seepage slope plant community are particularly important because these wetlands provide increasingly rare habitat for several threatened and endangered plant species. We conducted plant surveys to investigate both the long and short-term vegetation dynamics in response to hog disturbance. We demonstrate that hog disturbance has not declined since the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services began trapping hogs on Eglin AFB and theorize rainfall and other potential drivers of hog disturbance. The short-term exclosure studies provide evidence that the intensity and frequency of disturbance alter vegetation composition even when foliar cover is partially or fully regained. These results also indicate that Aristida stricta cover is reduced by soil disturbance, while woody cover maintains. A positive feedback is likely to result with reduced grass cover and fire spread, which further contributes to increased woody cover. In addition, we used GPS collected data to compare areas damaged by hogs and areas burned during prescribed fires to quantify the indirect effects of hog rooting on ecosystem function. We found that hog reduced vegetation cover decreased fire spread. Through this work, we gain insight to the mechanisms that affect the rate and trajectory of vegetation development in this plant community, with significance for both theoretical and management purposes.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Megan E Brown.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2014.
Local:
Adviser: MILLER,DEBORAH LOUISE.
Local:
Co-adviser: GORDON,DORIA R.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2016-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Classification:
lcc - LD1780 2014
System ID:
UFE0046581:00001