Committee Chair

Shaw, Joey

Committee Member

Hunt, Nyssa; Hossain, A.K.M. Azad; Heard, Matthew


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The detection and monitoring of invasive plant species present tremendous challenges to land managers. To reduce the economic and environmental costs associated with developing management plans for invasive plants, organizations such as the National Invasive Plant Council work to rank invasive plant species with regard to their invasiveness. Here, the Tennessee Invasive Plant Council’s ranking system is evaluated by considering county documentation from four resources that are commonly used to understand species distribution, including SERNEC which has recently uploaded more than 800,000 herbarium specimen records. We use data from SERNEC and iNaturalist to model the current and potential distribution of 24 Tennessee Invasive Plant Council ranked species in Tennessee. In the end, a combination of these online sources as well as species distribution models are used to propose a layout for a new way of ranking invasive plant species in Tennessee.


I am grateful for everyone who has helped and supported me through this process. First, I would like to thank my family and friends who have supported me. My mom, Beckie Alley, who has always encouraged and supported me throughout my life and my educational career. Thank you to the Shaw Lab, every one of you has been incredibly supportive and has motivated and inspired me to become a better scientist. A special thank you to Erica Rylander, Caleb Powell, and John Shelton who have been with me since the beginning of the program, your support and guidance have been invaluable. I would like to thank Joey Shaw for his advice and guidance through this process. Thank you for your unwavering support, guidance, and for always challenging me accomplish more than I believe I am capable of. A special thank you to Nyssa Hunt for your GIS guidance, support, and snacks. Finally, thank you to my committee members, Dr. Matthew Heard, Dr. Azad Hossain, and Nyssa Hunt for your advice and input that made it possible to complete this project.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Invasive plants -- Tennessee; Invasive plants -- Control -- Tennessee


Invasive plants; Invasive plant management; Exotic; MaxEnt; Species distribution models

Document Type

Masters theses




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Date Available