Trail-Side Survey of Ligustrum Lucidum and Nandina Domestica throughout Prospect Park Natural Area
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San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance (SMGA) and the City of San Marcos (COSM) actively manage a variety of greenspaces and trails throughout San Marcos, Texas. A crucial facet of the ecological management of protected places is exotic invasive species management. Exotic invasive species are non-native organisms that thrive in foreign environments, competing against native species for shelter, habitat, water, food and nutrient resources. Their lack of population controls in areas they have established enables them to occupy significant portions of natural landscapes. Overgrowth of invasive plants can compromise food webs and damage physical infrastructure, which may have dramatic detrimental effect on local natural resources, human health, and the economy. This project supports invasive removal efforts on behalf of SMGA and COSM by providing a GPS-based spatial inventory of Ligustrum lucidum and Nandina domestica via GIS and database of the descriptive statistics of the vegetation communities. A map was created showing the location of 3-meter invasive species plots in relation to trails, trail markers, and points of interest at Prospect Park in San Marcos, Texas. The database is an excel book with the survey information for 150 plots, and includes measurements for frequency, density, biomass, dominance value, and importance factor. These descriptive statistics were used to determine to best route for SMGA and COSM to begin removing/treating the two invasive species. I recommend a removal path prioritizing sections of the park near trail markers LL21, LL19, S3, and V5.