Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Donald Young

Second Advisor

Julie Zinnert


Understanding the impacts of explosive contamination on vegetation is key to understanding explosives behavior in the environment. I quantified shrub growth responses to 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,35-triazine (RDX) soil contamination across three life stages and I hypothesized that RDX would have the greatest impact on seed germination. Morella cerifera seeds were germinated on soils amended with RDX up to 1500 mg RDX kg-1 dry soil. Juvenile and adult individuals were exposed for 6 weeks to soil amended with RDX up to 750 and 1500 mg RDX kg-1 dry soil, respectively. Morphological responses were quantified for juveniles while physiological measurements were quantified for adults. RDX induced a significant response in all age groups and, in accordance with the hypothesis, germination was the most impacted of the three stages. Impacts varied by concentration in addition to life stage, showing that many variables influence plant response to RDX.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

Included in

Biology Commons