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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research » Research » Research Project #427731

Research Project: Understanding the Role of Population Genetic Structure and Population Dynamics in the Invasion of Knapweeds (Centaurea spp.)

Location: Emerging Pests and Pathogens Research

Project Number: 8062-22620-005-03-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2014
End Date: Aug 31, 2019

Determine the population genetic variation in native and invasive populations of knapweed species and hybrids across the species native and invasive range in Europe and the US in order to understand the introduction history of the species, and to monitor the population demography of several target populations to understand which life stage contributes the most to population growth and thus can be targeted for biological control.

Leaf samples and related herbarium specimens will be collected from several plants at each of several locations in the native European range, the invaded range in the western United States and the invaded Eastern United States and analyzed according to standard techniques to identify haplotypes and genotypes present. Monitoring plots will be established within field populations of knapweed in which individual plants will be mapped/marked and annually censused for survival, growth and fecundity. Soil cores will be taken to assess seed bank numbers. Matrix model techniques will be applied to the data to elucidate population dynamics and determine which life stage is contributing most to population growth and thus can be targeted for control.