Date of Award

Winter 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Neil Snow

Second Advisor

James Whitney

Third Advisor

Cynthia Huffman


Invasive species cause significant ecological losses in the United States where they cost approximately $21 billion dollars a year to manage (Fantle-Lepczyk et al., 2022). Early detection of new invasive species, coupled with a rapid response of management efforts, can help to slow the ecological and economic impacts caused by these habitat invaders. Tripidium ravennae (L.) H. Scholz (or Ravenna grass) is a tall, robust, cespitose grass known to occur in Kansas, although its distribution remained poorly documented prior to this study. Given its known invasive tendencies, it has been declared noxious in at least six US states. Coupled with a historical search for existing specimens in Kansas, an active survey for Tripidium ravennae was conducted in 47 counties in eastern Kansas to properly document its distribution. The species was first recorded in Kansas in 1960 and historically documented 15 times total among eight counties within the last 62 years. In 2022, this study recorded 103 occurrences in 25 counties, representing 17 new county records. All records for Kansas after 1990 were combined to generate a species distribution model using Maximum Entropy. This model predicted substantial suitable habitat for Tripidium ravennae in eastern Kansas and further confirms high invasion potential for the species.


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