Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Linda M Nagel


Jorg Brunet


The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia L. (black locust) has been identified as a potential invasive species outside its native range of the central Appalachian and Ozark Mountains, USA. The objectives of this study were to determine if black locust is causing changes to ground flora and differences in soil nutrient profiles compared to native northern hardwood forests at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (SLBE). Nine pairs of black locust and native hardwood stands were sampled for canopy tree characteristics, ground vegetation cover, and soil nutrients. There were no differences in the ground vegetation assemblages and few differences in the soil nutrient profiles between black locust stands and their native hardwood counterparts. The lack of overall differences, which contradicts findings from other forest ecosystem types, suggests that black locust is altering the northern hardwood forest communities very little at SLBE, a finding that may help guide management decisions.