Allocation of Biomass and Carbohydrates in Waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes): Pond-Scale Verification.
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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Currently, little biologically based understanding exists for the optimum timing of control tactics, with respect to time of year and stage of growth of target plant. A better understanding of plant life cycles and carbohydrate allocation patterns may elucidate weak points in the life cycle of target plants and allow optimum application of control measures. The objectives of this study were to verify previous small-scale waterhyacinth carbohydrate allocation studies in a large pond environment and to elucidate carbohydrate and biomass allocation patterns in waterhyacinth Eichhornia crassipes Mart. Solms. Waterhyacinth was grown in a 0.3-ha pond near Lewisville, TX, from June 1989 to March 1990. Monthly plant samples were taken and sorted into component plant parts i.e., leaf petioles, leaf laminae, stolons, stembases, roots, inflorescences, and dead material, which were then analyzed for free sugars, starch, and total nonstructural carbohydrates TNC. Maximum plant biomass ranged from 991 to 1, 146 g m-2 during the period July through November 1989. Leaves and roots were the highest proportion of living plant mass, followed by stembases. Leaves were composed of 60 to 65 percent petioles and 35 to 40 percent laminae. A heavy frost in December killed above-water plant parts, mostly leaves.