Christie-Anna Lovat

McGill University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Sylvie de Blois
Start: 2010-09-01
End: 2013-06-01

Project

Clinal variation in the native and invasive haplotypes of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud in Northeastern North America
Sexual reproduction has been identified as one of the most important biological traits contributing to invasiveness in non-native plant species. It has also been demonstrated that the success of sexual reproduction is directly dependant on favourable temperatures, particularly for species living at the climatic edges of their range. With climate change forecasted to cause temperature increases in many northern areas, there exists the potential for numerous non-native species which may be currently limited by temperature to undergo increases in sexual reproduction and ultimately invasiveness. For this project, field observations and germination trials were used to test the effect of temperature on development and sexual reproduction in an established invasive non-native species, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud. (haplotype M) and its native congener, P. australis (native haplotypes) over a latitudinal gradient from New Jersey (USA) to Alma (Quebec). Results are currently being assessed, however it is hoped that by determining the relationship between local temperatures and seed production in P. australis, methods could be developed to more effectively control P. australis in the future.

Keywords

invasive plants, climate change