Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

L. Michelle Bowe


The federally threatened Missouri bladderpod (Physaria filiformis) remains only in small populations in Missouri and also some outlying populations in Arkansas. My study was designed to focus on ecological and genetic aspects of Missouri bladderpod to aid in the conservation of the species. I proposed three questions to assess the threat to the Missouri bladderpod: 1) will private landowners with Missouri bladderpod on their property protect the species; 2) will controlling three introduced brome grass species (Bromus japonicus, B. sterilis, and B. tectorum) that are invading glades affect the Missouri bladderpod; and 3) will genetic diversity of bladderpod be lower than the widespread shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris). I sent surveys to landowners addressing the plans for their property. I performed five treatments to examine the best methods for brome grass control: tillage, clipping, and three separate herbicide treatments. I collected samples of Missouri bladderpod and shepherd's purse to determine amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) variation for genetic analysis. Landowners who responded mostly indicated that they were not expecting to change their property within the next ten years. I found that a mix (Fusilade and Poast) of herbicide was the most effective means of brome grass control (ANOVA; p=0.005). Genetic analysis suggests that the Missouri bladderpod and shepherd's purse are highly diverse and that there is a significant amount of gene flow among the populations (φst=0.07, p<0.001 for Missouri Bladderpod and φst=0.15, p<0.001 for shepherd's purse).


Missouri bladderpod, AFLP, landowner, herbicide, brome grass

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