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Environmental Horticulture Students Honored with FLEPPC Awards


The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) is an organization of scientists, land managers, restoration practitioners, and native plant enthusiasts.  FLEPPC maintains a list of invasive species for the state of Florida to help support the management of invasive species by all.  This non-profit organization provides an annual conference for sharing scientific, educational, and technical information about invasive species to the wide audience that attends.  FLEPPC also supports the research of dedicated students by awarding them for their performance of oral and poster presentations at the conference.  


 Candice Prince 1st place for oral presentation

Chemical Control of Phragmites australis under Climate Change Conditions

ABSTRACT:

Native wetland plant communities throughout North America have been replaced by dense monocultures of Phragmites australis (common reed; hereafter referred to as Phragmites). Increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and temperature can have a significant impact on the growth characteristics and physiological processes of C3 species such as Phragmites, potentially altering their herbicide tolerance. We examined this relationship in a greenhouse experiment. Haplotypes I and M were grown under elevated (700 ppm, 22/34 ⁰C) or ambient (390 ppm CO2, 18/30 ⁰C) climate conditions for six weeks, before being treated with glyphosate (0.5 lb.-a.i. per acre). Morphological and photosynthetic characteristics were measured prior to herbicide application. Visual injury symptoms were recorded weekly for 30 days, before height, stem number, and aboveground biomass were measured. Plants regrew for another 30 days before height, stem number, and biomass were measured. Haplotype I showed fewer stress responses to glyphosate treatment under elevated climate conditions, while the response of haplotype M to treatment was largely unaffected by climate. 

 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

The invasive common reed, Phragmites australis, was treated under two climate scenarios prior to glyphosate application to evaluate the plant's growth characteristics and physiological processes.  The two haplotypes performed differently - haplotype I showed fewer stress responses to glyphosate treatment under elevated climate conditions, while the response of haplotype M to treatment was largely unaffected by climate. 


Allison Bechtloff 1st place poster

Effective Application of Sterile Cultivar Development to Limit Invasive Ornamental Plant Impact: Producer-Driven Research in the Southeastern US

ABSTRACT:

While many introduced ornamental plants do not escape cultivation, some plants become exceptionally adaptable, regenerate prolifically, and eventually invade natural areas. Invasive plant species cost taxpayers millions annually in management ($100M in Florida alone) and negatively impact the ecosystem services on which we rely. Consumers are often uninformed of the potential invasive risk some ornamentals have, despite federal and state listing efforts (e.g. FDACS & FLEPPC), and threat evaluation programs (e.g. IFAS assessment). A survey of the ornamental nursery industry in the southeastern United States was conducted to identify nursery sales of five popular ornamentals including Coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) and Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex).Given the importance of these study species to nursery sales, producer interest in selling sterile ornamentals, and the feasibility of developing sterile cultivars demonstrated here, this work represents a novel effort to limit invasive species prior to their negative economic and ecosystem impacts. 

 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION:

A survey of the ornamental nursery industry in the southeastern United States was conducted to identify nursery sales of five popular ornamentals including Coral ardisia (Ardisia crenata), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) and Mexican petunia (Ruellia simplex).Given the importance of these study species to nursery sales, producer interest in selling sterile ornamentals, and the feasibility of developing sterile cultivars demonstrated here, this work represents a novel effort to limit invasive species prior to their negative economic and ecosystem impacts.

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(L-R)Allison Bechtloff and Candice Prince

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