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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Invasive Species and Pollinator Health » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #174956


item Blank, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: Aquatic Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2005
Citation: Chen, H., Qualls, R.G., Blank, R.R. 2005. Effect of soil flooding on photosynthesis, carbohydrate partitioning and nutrient uptake in the invasive exotic lepidium latifolium. Aquatic Botany. 82:250-268.

Interpretive Summary: Perennial pepperweed is a major invasive plant in wetlands and riparian habitats of the western United States. To test potential control strategies, we investigated the effect of soil flooding on growth, photosynthesis, carbohydrate partitioning, and nutrient uptake of this weed. Compared to unflooded controls, flooding significantly reduced net photosynthesis, increased leaf starch concentration, increased soluble sugars in both leaves and roots, increased leaf concentration of Mn and decreased leaf concentrations of N, P, Ca, Mg, and Zn. Maintneance of of relatively high photosynthesis, and accumulation of soluble sugars in roots of flooded plant are adaptation of this species to flooding. Perennial pepperweed has the ability to survive 50 days of flooding which limits flooding as a potential control option.

Technical Abstract: Lepidium latifolium L. is an invasive exotic crucifer that has spread explosively in wetlands and riparian areas of the western United States. To understand the ecophysiological characteristics of L. latifolium that affect its ability to invade riparian areas and wetlands, we examined photosynthesis, chlorophyll concentration, carbohydrate partitioning, and nutrient uptake in L. latifolium in response to soil flooding. Photosynthesis of flooded plants was about 60-70% of the rate of unflooded controls. Chlorophyll concentrations of flooded plant were about 60-70% of the unflooded plants during 15-50 days of flooding. Flooding resulted in an increase in leaf starch concentration, but root starch concentration was not significantly affected. However, concentrations of soluble sugar were significantly higher in both leaves and roots of flooded plant than unflooded controls. On day 50 after initial flooding, the concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and Zn in leaves of flooded plants were lower than in control plants. The concentrations of Mn, Fe, and Na in leaves of flooded plants were 8.0, 1.9, and 1.8 times those of control plants, respectively. In contrast, N, P, K, and Zn concentrations of roots of flooded plants were slightly higher than in unflooded plants. The concentrations of Ca and Mg in roots of flooded plants were 5-6 times those in the control plants. The concentrations of Na, Fe, and Mn in roots of flooded plants were 7, 15, and 150 times those on the control plants, respectively. The transport of P,K, and Zn in roots decreased and that of Mn increase in response to flooding. The results suggested that the maintenance of relatively high photosynthesis and the accumulation of soluble sugar in roots of flooded plants are important adaptations for this species in flooded environments. Despite a reduction in photosynthesis and disruption in nutrient and photosynthate allocation in response to flooding, L. latifolium was able to survive 50 days of flooding stress. Overall, L. latifolium performed like a facultative hydrophyte species under flooding.