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Seasonal Changes in Carbohydrate and Nitrogen Concentrations in Oregon and California Populations of Brazilian Egeria (Egeria densa)

  • Toni G. Pennington (a1) and Mark D. Sytsma (a1)


Total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) reserves support growth, formation of reproductive structures, and sprouting of plant tissues, and nitrogen (N) is essential for amino acid synthesis and photosynthetic enzyme production. Timing of weed management to periods when these critical resources are most limiting might improve efficacy. We examined seasonal changes in carbohydrate and nitrogen concentrations in Brazilian egeria (Egeria densa), a common submersed aquatic weed, from two locations in the United States. Plants were collected from a coastal Oregon reservoir and from California's Central Valley in the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Starch comprised between 35 to 51% of the TNC in lower stems and root crowns. Seasonal changes in resource concentrations were not consistent between years within a population or for the same plant part between different populations. Lowest TNC concentrations were observed earlier in the growing season (March) in Disappointment Slough than in Big Creek (May to June). Conversely, highest concentrations were observed in October in Disappointment Sough and from August to March in Big Creek. Nitrogen concentrations were highest in stem tips in both populations, with more distinct seasonal changes in the California population. These data suggest western populations of E. densa might exhibit less-discernible low points in root crown and lower stem energy storage for targeting management activities to vulnerable phenological stages. Brazilian egeria has high phenological plasticity despite its low genetic diversity and lack of specialized reproductive and perennating structures, which allows the plant to invade and dominate submersed plant communities in areas with mild winters.


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