Date of Award

Spring 2013

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Thomas D Lee


Burning bush (Euonymus alatus) is an exotic ornamental shrub invasive in forests of the northeastern United States. I sampled burning bush populations in four mid-successional forests and related burning bush success or "status" (based on presence and height in 4m2 plots) to environmental factors, including photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), soil nutrients, and abundance of other plants. All populations were multi-aged, with a greater number of younger than older stems, and with taller, older plants producing fruit. Burning bush status was significantly and positively related to percent total transmitted PAR, negatively to the basal area of shade tolerant trees 4-10 em dbh, and negatively to percent total soil nitrogen. Populations of burning bush will likely persist and may expand, although expansion may be slowed by low light availability.