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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE AQUATIC AND RIPARIAN WEEDS

Location: Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research

Title: Comparative Growth of Giant Reed from Florida, Texas, and California

Authors
item Spencer, David
item Liow, Pui-Sze
item Ksander, Gregory
item Stocker, Randall - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Fox, Alison - UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
item Everitt, James
item Quinn, Lauren - UC RIVERSIDE
item Whitehand, Linda

Submitted to: Journal of Aquatic Plant Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Spencer, D.F., Liow, P., Ksander, G.G., Stocker, R.K., Fox, A.M., Everitt, J.H., Quinn, L.D., Whitehand, L.C. 2008. Comparative growth of giant reed from Florida, Texas, and California. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management. 46:(1)89-96.

Interpretive Summary: Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) occurs throughout the southern half of the US from California to Maryland. It is considered an invasive plant in some parts of this range but not others. In order to test the hypothesis that plants from different regions have similar growth characteristics, we grew plants from stem cuttings collected at two sites in Florida, one site in Texas, and two sites in California in a common garden experiment in Davis, California. Plants grew outdoors in two types of soil. All plants survived winter conditions in Davis, California during 2004, when the minimum air temperature was 26 F. Several growth parameters were similar for all plants examined. Plants with only partially green leaves (variegated) had greater stem angles indicating that the stems were more prostrate. Differences in stem height and leaf N content, were consistent with those expected from the inclusion of variegated plants in this study. Variegated plants weighed less regardless of the soil type. Results, from this experiment, imply that with the exception of variegated types, plants from different geographic locations grew equally well under similar conditions and likely have similar invasive potentials and impacts on resident species.

Technical Abstract: Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) occurs throughout the southern half of the US from California to Maryland. It is considered an invasive plant in some parts of this range but not others. In order to test the hypothesis that plants from different regions have similar growth characteristics, we grew plants from stem cuttings collected at two sites in Florida, one site in Texas, and two sites in California in a common garden experiment in Davis, California. Plants were grown outdoors in topsoil or a 90:10 sand:topsoil mix, in large plastic containers. All plants survived winter conditions in Davis, California during 2004, when the minimum air temperature was -3.3 C. Stem width, number of stems per plant, number of leaves per stem, total leaf area per plant, RGR NSTEMS and RGR LENGTH did not differ among the provenances studied. Variegated plants had greater stem angles indicating that the stems were more prostrate. Differences in stem height, number of internodes per stem, mean internode distance, and leaf N content, were consistent with those expected from the inclusion of variegated plants in this study. Plant dry weight differed depending on plant origin and substrate type. Variegated plants weighed less regardless of the substrate. Results, from this experiment, imply that with the exception of a variegated form, plants from disparate geographic locations grew equally well under similar conditions and likely have similar invasive potentials and impacts on resident species.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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