First and Last Name/s of Presenters

TIffany BallingFollow


Professor LaTina Steele

Participation Type


College and Major available



University Commons

Start Day/Time

4-21-2017 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

4-21-2017 3:00 PM


Apr 21st, 1:00 PM Apr 21st, 3:00 PM

Phenolic levels of invasive Myriophyllum spicatum and native Elodea canadensis at different temperatures

University Commons

Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is an invasive aquatic plant that may dominate lakes and waterways throughout the U.S. It is known to crowd out native plants and create dense mats that interfere with recreational activity. Milfoil also produces allelopathic chemicals, such as phenolics, that may give the invasive plant a competitive advantage over native species like Elodea canadensis. In a laboratory competition experiment, we tested the effects of competition and temperature on growth and phenolic levels in both Myriophyllum spicatum and Elodea canadensis. The experiment consisted of six replicates each of six treatments (M. spicatum alone, E. canadensis alone, and the two species grown together, with each combination of plants grown at ambient temperature and with the temperature increased by 2°C using individual aquarium heaters). After three weeks, the length of each plant fragment was measured, the number of branches on each fragment was counted, each fragment was weighed, and mean growth per fragment was calculated as the change in weight. Plant fragments were frozen for phenolic analysis at the end of the experiment. In general, M. spicatum showed more growth and produced more phenolics than E. canadensis in all treatments. At higher temperatures E. canadensis produced fewer phenolics than at lower temperatures. Based on these results, it is possible that rising temperatures due to climate change will increase invasive milfoil’s competitive advantage over native E. canadensis by shifting herbivory to the less chemically defended native plant.


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