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The phenomenon of urbanization occurs all over the world. In an attempt to find jobs and financial stability, people move to cities for more opportunities. Threats associated with urbanization can lead to habitat fragmentation and the loss of biodiversity; species can die and cease to exist in a habitat where they once flourished (Newman et al. 2013). It is very important to study the populations of species in the city, because they are a vital part of the ecosystem. We are studying the fitness of dogwood trees located in an urban neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia known as “the Fan.” The fitness of the trees is based on the reproductive output, or seed production. After locating, mapping, and sampling the individuals in the fan, we will use statistical analysis to see if there is a correlation between the reproductive output and the location of the tree within the urban environment. This study will allow us to measure a component of fitness that may be influenced by urban location, and to differentiate possible good and bad conditions for dogwoods within the city. Ultimately, we will gain a better understanding of how to manage our dogwood species, and how to maintain connectivity across the landscape so the dogwood population can flourish.

Publication Date


Subject Major(s)

Genetics, Biology

Current Academic Year


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Rodney Dyer


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

Is Part Of

VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


© The Author(s)

Impacts of Urbanization on Dogwood Population Fitness