Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Mac Alford, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

A floristic survey was conducted on the eastern margin of the Lakewood Memorial Park Cemetery, located between Jackson and Clinton, Mississippi, near the western edge of the Jackson Prairie ecoregion. From soil map data and preliminary observations of the landform and flora, the eastern part of the cemetery was hypothesized to be remnant prairie now mostly covered by exotic grasses (pasture) and woodland. Plant specimens were collected, identified, and preserved in the herbarium of The University of Southern Mississippi (USMS). The survey yielded 119 species of vascular plants, of which 98 (82%) were native and 21 (18%) were non-native. Indicative prairie plants included Anemone caroliniana (carolina anemone), Asclepias virdiflora (green milkweed), Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed susan), and Sorghastrum nutans (indian grass), and some of the associated woodland had rare species such as Carya myristiciformis (nutmeg hickory). Plants with a historical medical significance were also noted. Due to the scarcity of prairies in Mississippi, the landowners were petitioned to restore the prairie by burning and removal of non-native shrubs and trees and to place an educational interpretive sign about the prairies and the Jackson Prairie, in particular.

Included in

Botany Commons

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