Aarhus Universitets segl

Ecophysiology of invasive and non-invasive plants in aquatic ecosystems

Projekter: ProjektForskning

  • Plantebiologi, Biologisk Institut
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet


Large Frame Grant from the Danish Research Council for Natural Sciences: The proposed research will identify common or contrasting ecological characteristics of invasive and non-invasive plant species from aquatic ecosystems, which appear particularly vulnerable to invasions: Streams, lakes, wetlands and tidal saltmarshes. Our goal is to advance the field of invasion ecology, and to further our understanding of how global climate change and associated changes in the abiotic environment will affect aquatic plant communities and their invasibility. Questions addressed include: (i) Which ecophysiological characteristics of aquatic plants are responsible for their invasiveness in a specific setting? (ii) Why do some species behave like invaders in one geographical area and not in another? (iii) How does hybridization and chromosome doubling influence the ecophysiology of the plants and their invasiveness? We will study the phenotypic plasticity of invasive and non-invasive genotypes, the relationship between invasiveness and habitat characteristics, if hybridisation and chromosome doubling affect invasiveness, and genetic differences between populations in different geographic regions. We focus on plant species which occur in the three geographical regions represented by each of the proposers (Europe, North America, New Zealand). (i) Phragmites australis (common reed) is a cosmopolitan wetland species which is dying back in Europe and at the same time invading costal marshes in North America. (ii) Crassula helmsii (New Zealand pygmyweed), a New Zealand native, which is now invading most European countries as well as the south-eastern part of North America. (iii) Potamogeton crispus (curled pondweed) and Ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort), native to Europe (Pc) and North America (Cd) and introduced to New Zealand.

Studies will be performed in phytotrons and common garden set-ups, as well as in the field. The research group behind this proposal comprises scientist from DK, NZ and USA, who possess complementary experience in aquatic plant ecophysiology and research facilities.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/01/200830/06/2011



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