Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Edward E. C. Clebsch

Committee Members

H. R. DeSelm, James D. Caponetti


Introduction: A member of the heath family, Ericaceae, Pieris floribunda Benth. and Hook. is endemic to the Southern Appalachian Mountains, its distribution being concentrated in the higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

For many years these small shrubs have been noted growing beside the trails in the Park in some of the most xeric habitats, especially pine-heath communities, along with other ericaceous plants. By close examination of the climatology, soils and associated vegetation of these habitats, it was hoped that some clues might be found as to what factors allow P. floribunda to survive and reproduce in these xeric habitats. Through investigation of the above and certain aspects of the autecology of Pieris, the vegetational role of this heath shrub in this particular community might be clarified.

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