Scholar: Carol Bishop
Major: Conservation Biology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher J. Lortie
Research Topic: "Using Spatial Pattern Analyses to Test for Shrub-Shrub Interactions within Atriplex Confertifolia"
Abstract: Atriplex confertifolia or shadscale is an important shrub in salt desert areas of the Great Basin. There is recent evidence of extensive die-off, and many possible causes have been investigated. Previous research has not investigated whether there are shrub-shrub interactions that are further modifying its abundance and limiting its recruitment. By studying shadscale's spatial relationships using size specific analyses, we will be able to infer if these relationships are influencing its life cycle.
Both grid and transect measurements were taken in four study sites: two in unburnt areas and two in burnt areas. All size classes of shrubs were significantly clumped under both fire histories. Hence, there is no evidence of negative shrub-shrub interactions detected using spatial analyses tested at multiple scales. Interestingly, the strong spatial aggregation of shadscale detected at all scales suggests positive interactions may be occurring and this may be particularly important in burnt areas.
Earned Baccalaureate Degree: Spring 2006
Earned Masters Degree: Spring 2008, Research & Applied Economics, University of Nevada, Reno.
Career Update: Received tenure as the Cooperative Extension Educator for Northeast Clark County, University of Nevada, Reno, spring 2015.