Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Derek Johnson


Understanding movement capabilities of individuals within a landscape is essential to identifying the effects of habitat boundaries on species abundances, ranges, and spread rates. Movement barriers due to habitat fragmentation may reduce mate-finding ability in some species, particularly in heterogeneous landscapes containing low-density populations. This study focuses on the effects of habitat type and edge on mate-finding in an invasive defoliator, the European gypsy moth. Adult European gypsy moth males locate mates by following pheromones released by flightless females. Reduced mate-finding was expected in fields and near forest edges based on geographic variation in invasion rates and pheromone plume dynamics. A male release-recapture experiment using female-baited traps in fields, at forest edges, and in the forest interior showed that mate-finding was highest at forest edges, reduced in fields, and lowest within the forest interior. This suggests that forest edges and moderate habitat fragmentation enhance mate-finding in the gypsy moth.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014

Available for download on Sunday, May 12, 2019

Included in

Biology Commons