Andrew J. Mullaney

Andrew J. Mullaney (M.S.)
Texas A&M International
Major Adivsor: Cord B. Eversole, Ph.D.

Determining the Effect of Invasive Vegetation on Small Vertebrate Communities

Invasive vegetation such as Old World Bluestem and Huisache has taken over much of the South Texas rangeland that was once native mixed grass and tallgrass prairie ecosystems. The proliferation of these non-native and invasive plants is a considerable threat to conservation and native wildlife. Therefore, it is important to monitor how these invasions are affecting biodiversity. This study will determine how the diversity and dynamics of herpetofaunal and small mammal communities are affected by invasive vegetation. We will sample these communities at several sites on the Welder Wildlife Refuge and use multivariate statistical analyses to identify community and habitat differences along a gradient of ecosystem change (i.e., invasion). We hypothesize that communities in invaded stands will be less diverse than less invaded or restored stands and be dominated by generalist species. This project will have significant impact on understanding the implications of invasive grasses on wildlife and plant communities and will provide better insight into the management of natural resources on both local and landscape scales.

Take a look at what a typical day of Andy’s research looks like!
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