Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Forest Resources (MFR)

Legacy Department

Forest Resources

Committee Chair/Advisor

Mikhailova, Elena A

Committee Member

Hall , Karen C

Committee Member

Bridges , William C

Committee Member

Layton , Patricia A.


Solarization is an effective method for managing small areas with kudzu (Pueraria montana) invasions that may alter soil chemical properties. Conducted from 2005 to 2007 at the Clemson University Experimental Forest in Clemson, South Carolina on a Cecil clay loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludult), this study compares soil chemical properties under thermally-treated and non-treated plots at different depths invaded by Kudzu.
The experimental factors of treatment and depth were arranged in a factorial treatment design with 15 treatments arranged in a split plot design. The five thermal treatments were the whole plot factors which were arranged in a randomized complete block experiment design, and the depths (0-10, 10-20, 20-30 cm) were included as a split plot factor. A model was developed for the design, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if there were significant main effects or interactions of treatment and depth. Fischer's Least Significant Difference (LSD) test was used to determine if there were significant differences among specific pairs of means.
Plots invaded by Kudzu had significant increases in pH, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), boron (B) and base saturation with lower carbon-to-nitrogen (C/N) ratio compared to bare soil at all sampling depths. Kudzu plots treated with translucent polyethylene sheeting showed significant increases in pH, P, potassium (K), Mn, and Cu as well as lower C/N ratio and magnesium (Mg) and sodium (Na) content compared to bare soil at all sampling depths. Plant analysis demonstrated kudzu's stem and leaf parts contain higher concentrations of Mn, B, K, P, zinc (Zn), Cu, and sulfur (S) than root tissue, with roots having higher concentrations of Mg and iron (Fe). Results show that kudzu invasion had significant effects on soil chemical properties by nutrient uplift and solarization released these nutrients from decomposing plant tissue.

Included in

Soil Science Commons



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