Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Foster Levy

Thesis Professor Department

Biological Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Jamey Donaldson, Elwood Watson


The flora of southern Appalachian high elevation balds has strong representation of northern disjuncts and regional endemics. Among the endemics, the showy Lilium grayi (Gray’s Lily), is most noteworthy for its historical significance and for a high public profile. As bald vegetation changes in response to human and natural environmental shifts, active bald management has been implemented on public lands. Among managed balds, the Roan Mountain massif supports a large population of L. grayi. The purpose of this study was to describe the demography of adult plants, compare browsed and non-browsed plots, and determine the extent to which disease may impact survival and reproduction of L. grayi on Roan Mountain. There were no significant differences between browsed and control plots in measures of plant morphology, vigor, or reproductive output, but browsed plots had significantly more juvenile plants compared to controls. Along a transect, spatial analyses uncovered clusters of diseased and healthy plants and showed that plants in close proximity tended to be alike in disease status and those distant were more unalike. A pathogenic fungus, Pseudocercosporella inconspicua, may be the disease pathogen.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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