The Effects of Shade and Soil Moisture on the Biomass and Growth Rates of Humulus japonicus (Japanese Hops)
Invasive species are a major problem in the modern world threatening both important ecosystems for conservation as well as our economy. We are looking at the potential for invasion of the species H. Japonicus, quantifying this with the overall growth of the plant. This species has shown signs of increasing its range throughout the United States and could have potential of invading Montana. For this study our independent variables included shade levels and moisture levels with our dependent variables being plant growth. H. Japonicus tends to thrive in full sun riparian environments where there is high accessibility to sunlight as well as moisture. It is important however, to test how shade levels and moisture levels affect the growth of H. Japonicus to help predict what sort of threat it may pose to Montana because of the tendency of eastern and central Montana to have low soil moisture and high temperatures. For this study we found no significant difference between different levels of shade or moisture levels in terms of growth. In future experiments we could look at variables such as soil composition, soil acidity, or varying nutrient contents of the soil.