Julius Adewopo, University of Florida, julius.adewopo@gmail.com (Presenter)


The increasing spread and negative impacts of non-native invasive species in United States forestland has attracted huge ecological and economic costs. Rosary pea (Abrus precatorius) is listed as “category-1” noxious invasive species in Florida, it invades undisturbed pinelands, displaces native plant communities, and produces lethal human poison. The limited understanding of the spatial dynamics of Rosary pea’s (Abrus) distribution has critical implication for cost-effective control of the spread. Using data on incidence of Abrus in West-Florida (972 point locations) obtained from EDDMaps database, this study was conducted to assess 1.) Clustering or randomness in the distribution of Rosary pea at 3 quadrat-size scales (based on quadrat-count technique), and 2.) The influence of identified potential factors to its spread in West-Florida. The Chi-square and Kolmogorov Smirnov tests showed that the distribution of Abrus is extremely clustered (non-Poissonian) across the 3 quadrat-size scales (Xcrit(0.05,0.01)<<