Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2007-08 Deliverables

Task 6 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Georgianne W. Moore

Task 6: Environment, Ecology and Water Quality Protection

    As with year one, ongoing greenhouse and field studies will continue. Experiments in year two will build upon details about plant physiological responses to insect damage and techniques for spatial scaling of transpiration and photosynthesis measurements to quantify water savings through controlling giant reed. The primary aim of this year’s efforts will be to investigate factors that constrain growth and water use. Specifically, we will:
  1. Further investigate transpirational responses to biological control using controlled greenhouse experiments that determine plant responses to insect damage at different levels of water availability. Results will demonstrate the likelihood and magnitude by which biological control reduces water loss from Arundo.
  2. Determine what factors (herbivory, drought) has the largest impact on Arundo physiological activity, specifically growth and transpiration. Results will demonstrate the range of conditions for reducing water loss via biological control.
  3. Compare daily water loss and stand productivity in small field plots throughout the early, middle and late growing season. Results will be used to make seasonal predictions of water loss from Arundo stands.
  4. Field investigations at Rio Grande Valley sites will expand upon the previous year’s efforts to additional sites. We will document any differences in water loss under varying conditions of water availability. Results will be used to make predictions of water loss from Arundo stands throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
  5. Result from this work will be published in at least two peer reviewed manuscripts and will be the focus of a MS Thesis (TAMU Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Management). We will present our results at two or more scientific meetings (Society for Ecological Restoration, Weed Science Society of America, and or Ecological Society of America) and at the annual RGBI meeting. This work will also appear in RGBI technical reports.
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