Committee Chair

Boyd, Jennifer N.

Committee Member

Call, Geoff P.; Klug, Hope


Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The Orchidaceae family is characterized by high rates of species rarity and extinction. Translocation efforts are becoming widely used as a means to bolster rare species numbers in situ and are most effective when species habitat requirements are well understood. Platanthera integrilabia is a rare terrestrial orchid endemic to the southeastern United States, and limited research has been done to investigate suitable habitat for this species, despite evidence indicating its ability to tolerate a range of abiotic conditions. We conducted a translocation study to determine the overall success of using tubers for translocation and to investigate how light and herbivory impact translocation emergence, survival, growth, and reproduction. Growth measures were taken monthly during the 2018 and 2019 growing seasons, and light response measures were taken at the beginning of flowering season in both years. Our findings suggest translocation of P. integrilabia tubers yields initial success, especially under dense canopy cover and with limited herbivore access, but low overall rates of flowering and survival could prevent long term establishment. This study highlights the need for a longer-term, comprehensive approach to determine P. integrilabia resource requirements.


First, I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Jennifer Boyd for bringing me on as a graduate student and providing an excellent example of what it means to be a scientist. I would also like to thank Dr. Hope Klug for serving on my committee and providing statistical advice. Special thank you to you both for all you have done for and endured as women in STEM. Thank you also to Geoff Call for serving on my committee, providing extensive help in the field, and providing appropriate literature and expert species information. Thanks to Adam Dattilo, who also shouldered a significant load of field work, generously shared his field notes, and provided feedback on this manuscript. Thanks to James Douglas and other members of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency staff for also taking on substantial shares of field work. Thank you to my labmate, sounding board, and great friend Jared Odell, whose answer was always “yes” and to Holly Odell, giver of advice, positive thoughts, and bananas…. You two are family. And finally – but foremost – thank you to my parents for their unquestioning and multifaceted support of my academic and professional goals…. I am so very grateful for everything you both have done to get me here.


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.




Orchids; Plant translocation; Platanthera


conservation; plant ecology; habitat management; rare species; translocation; plant physiology

Document Type

Masters theses




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