Scott M. Francis
The potential effect of quinolizidine alkaloids (Lupinine
and Spartiene) in Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) on soil microbial processes
in Ft. Lewis, WA. Scott Francis, Karen Haubensak, Kitty Gehring.
Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) (broom) is an invasive
legume that produces quinolizidine alkaloids (QA’s) which have been shown to
inhibit growth in herbaceous species. Because the distribution of QA’s in soil
has not yet been measured, the effect of broom has not been completely
investigated. The purpose of this project is to determine the soil legacy
of broom with respect to QA’s. Soil and plant material were collected
from Ft. Lewis military base in Yelm, WA. Alkaloids from these samples
will be extracted using methods similar to Gresser et. al (1996), and subsequently
analyzed by GC-MS.
Invaded and univaded soil samples will be measured for
microbial activity via CO2 efflux, and mycorrhizal growth rates in the
presence of broom material will be measured in pitri dishes in order to
investigate the potential inhibitory effect. Information gathered from these
experiments will aid in understanding the mechanism by which broom is
successful in its radiation.
Other Research Interests
I have an affinity for plants and am interested in research
concerning the spatial patterns of forested ecosystems as it relates to
Now that recent drying events have been somewhat attributed to a changing
climate, along with my URM project, I am involved in observing how plants are
responding to an ever-drying and increasingly warming environment. I will be
studying the regeneration and recruitment of Pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) in the
face of prolonged drought throughout the Pinyon - Juniper woodlands north of
the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, AZ.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) in conjunction with
Northern Arizona University has funded his endeavor to investigate pinyon pine
regeneration in the form of an Undergraduate Integrative Graduate Education and
Research Traineeship (IGERT) and a Hooper Undergraduate Research Award (HURA).
These fellowships and grants will allow me to gain experience in cutting edge
research and contribute to the collection of natural resource management
ideologies that land managers subscribe to.