Aquatic Plant Research
Aquatic plant research at the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs.
Egeria densa is a submersed macrophyte that is invasive to waterways of the U.S. We examined patterns of resource allocation and rates of growth and photosynthesis in two populations of E. densa from: 1) a drinking water reservoir in Oregon and 2) Disappointment Slough in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California. Currently, greenhouse studies are being used to identify factors that influence establishment success of fragments (E. densa 's only method of spread in the U.S.) and the photosynthetic response of E. densa to varying light and temperature. full project here
Four species of Spartina, commonly known as cordgrasses, are exotic, invasive plants in estuaries of the west coast of North America. These grasses were originally brought to the west coast both intentionally, with the purpose of erosion control and forage production, and unintentionally - hitching rides in ship's ballast water or in oyster packing material. However, over the past few decades, people have recognized the threats posed by these rapidly spreading plants. Invasive cordgrasses can clog flood channels, displace native vegetation, significantly raise mudflat elevation, and reduce habitat of Dungeness crab, shorebirds and migratory waterfowl by trapping sediments with their dense stems and root-mats. full project here
Also available: Oregon Spartina Response Plan (pdf here)
Improved management of aquatic invasive species (AIS) requires continued research on the basic biology and ecology of pest species and control methods. Funding for research on management of AIS has been inadequate although recently introduced legislation (National Aquatic Invasive Species Act) includes authorization of increased funding. Even if increased funding is authorized, the AIS problem is growing rapidly, and available resources will likely continue to limit research efforts. Consequently, development of priorities for research that address key biological, ecological, and management questions are critical for effectively addressing AIS problems. A workshop was held on December 14-15, 2005 in La Jolla, California to develop research priorities for invasive aquatic plants. full project here
Aquatic plant species are well represented in the native flora of Alaska. Submersed, aquatic plant communities in Alaska were systematically surveyed and documented by Hulten (1968) in the mid-twentieth century. Since then, local aquatic plant communities have been occasionally surveyed and no non-native aquatic nuisance plants had yet been reported. In 2005, CLR surveyed several lakes located along major highways or in heavily used federal wildlife refuges for the presence of aquatic, invasive plant species which could have been introduced by trailered boats or floatplanes coming from infested waterbodies in other areas. full report here [pdf]