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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Ecology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Sigrid Resh

Committee Member 1

Tara Bal

Committee Member 2

Christopher Webster


Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) and glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus Mill.) are considered invasive plants in North America, capable of displacing native vegetation. Their invasion often results in decreased biodiversity and weakened ecosystem resilience. Therefore, their removal is important for forest restoration. Invasive buckthorns are often managed using chemical herbicides and manual removal. These methods have their weaknesses, thus finding an alternative is desirable. We sought to determine the efficacy of Chondrostereum purpureum (Fr.) Pouzar (a naturally occurring Basidiomycete in North America) as a biocontrol agent for treatment of invasive buckthorns. We compared application treatments of C. purpureum and glyphosate to cut stump and girdled R. cathartica and F. alnus stems, to gain a better understanding of their relative impacts on buckthorn regrowth in forested ecosystems of the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA. We girdled or cut 300 buckthorn trees and applied either C. purpureum, glyphosate, or no treatment (control). We found that C. purpureum treatments significantly reduced buckthorn stump sprouting compared with control treatments in just one growing season (p < 0.001), and showed statistically comparable stump sprout reduction with that of glyphosate treatments. Additionally, we found that percent canopy was significantly related to treatment success (p = 0.013), but that the influence of percent canopy varies among treatments. These findings suggest that C. purpureum application to buckthorn trees could potentially provide land managers with a myco-biological control alternative for buckthorn management that has not yet been adopted widely.