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Spatial and temporal variation in RGR and leaf quality of a clonal riparian plant: Arundo donax
Spencer, D.F.; Ksander, G.G.; Whitehand, L.C. (2005). Spatial and temporal variation in RGR and leaf quality of a clonal riparian plant: Arundo donax. Aquat. Bot. 81(1): 27-36. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2004.11.001
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Cloning; Growth rate; Introduced species; Leaf; Nitrogen fixation; Nutritional status; Phenology; Riparian vegetation; Spatial variations; Temporal variations; Arundo donax; USA, California, Cache Creek; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Spencer, D.F.
  • Ksander, G.G.
  • Whitehand, L.C.

Abstract
    Arundo donax L. is a tall perennial reed classified as an emergent aquatic plant. In California, it has invaded riparian zones, where it acts as a transformer species. Because plant growth and leaf quality influence the effectiveness of management techniques, we sought to determine if these characters varied temporally and spatially in a northern California population of A. donax. Tissue C and N content and C:N ratio varied during the growing season. Leaf N was higher in spring and in plants that were closer to a stream. It was significantly negatively related to the clump's distance from the stream but not related to its elevation relative to the stream. Plants near the stream produced taller stems with more leaves per stem than those more distant from the stream. RGR differed across time and space. It was highest in spring prior to the appearance of flowers on a few stems that were >1 year old within the clumps. Decline in RGR as the growing season progressed coincided with the appearance of branches and flowers on stems <1 year old on a few plants within the studied population. RGR was significantly related to the N content and C:N ratio of leaves on mature stems (>1 year old). This implies that the decrease in stem growth reflected changes in nutrient availability within the entire A. donax clump and not just in the growing stems (<1 year old). These findings have implications for timing of management techniques.

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