Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Howard, Jerome J.

Second Advisor

Bell, Charles D.

Third Advisor

O'Connell, Martin T.


Knowledge of sex allocation trade-offs with tree growth in insect-pollinated woody plants is limited, particularly in invasive plants. This study examined patterns of growth and reproductive investment in a North American invasive plant species, Triadica sebifera, I hypothesized that the energy limitations of smaller trees may result in the production of more male reproductive structures that are energetically less costly. Diameter at breast height was a significant predictor of seed and catkin mass and regression can describe these relationships across sites. Seed and catkin mass were positively correlated across sites. The relationship between the seed mass:catkin mass ratio and DBH was not significant, nor was seed mass:catkin mass and total investment. Results showed a significant positive relationship between total reproductive investment and tree size across sites. Seed mass:catkin mass ratio and reproduction investment showed substantial variation among individual trees of similar size within sites.


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