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Greenbrier growth patterns

Grace Harsha
Ecology class, BIO 342, Biology Department, DePauw University
Fall semester 2014

Greenbrier is a climbing vine with thorns.  It is found throughout the eastern United States.  Greenbrier vines vary in their length, appearance and frequency of thorns, and shape of thorns.  The goal of my study was to compare growth patterns of greenbrier among different locations.  I quantified differences in stem diameter, branching and climbing patterns, stem length, and thorn growth.

I measured length, number of nodes, diameter, density of thorns, and number of branches of greenbrier in three locations in the DePauw Nature Park:  Creekside Trail, Rail Trail, and Woodland Trail (W4).

Results and Discussion
Thorn density was highest at the base of greenbrier plants, perhaps to prevent herbivory at the base of the plant.  There was no correlation between thorn density and diameter of stems.  There were no differences in the length of vines among the three sites.  Production of thorns was not correlated with environmental conditions.  Future studies could investigate differences in tendril nodes and branching nodes.