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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Plant Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



As a species domesticated only in the last century, agricultural cranberry plants (Vaccinium macrocarpon) remain little removed from their wild relatives. Thus, it is a potential model species for studies of the earliest stages of domestication; however, there is little available quantitative information on its wild population biology and ecology. As such information is vital to studies of the ecological changes occurring during domestication, the purpose of this study was to consolidate the relevant knowledge available and conduct a preliminary search for patterns in the invertebrate communities of wild bogs. The alpha diversity was found to be greater than the overall (gamma diversity), which is likely a result of the metric used and the fact that there was minimal overlap in rare species between bogs. In addition, alpha diversity was found to be significantly negatively correlated with bog age. Two pairs of species were found to be correlated with each other, Blunt-nosed (Limotettix vaccinia (Van Duzee)) and Sharp-nosed leafhopper (Scaphytopius sp.), along with fleabeetle (Sysena frontalis (F.)) and firebeetle (Cryptocephalus incertus (Oliv.). In addition, it was found that spiders are significantly more common in western bogs, while firebeetle is significantly more common in eastern bogs. However, this may be indicative of a correlation with bog age rather than a true correlation with geographic location. More work is needed to determine the true dynamics driving these findings, so that the information could eventually be used to improve the efficacy and decrease the environmental impact of pest management on agricultural bogs.


First Advisor

Wesley Autio