Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2008-09 Deliverables

Task 6 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Georgianne Moore

The primary aim of this year’s efforts will be to determine the proportion of transpiration water that is taken up by Arundo directly from the Rio Grande relative to local precipitation. Current field studies will be expanded to include water source partitioning (river water vs. rain water). We will also continue to quantify transpiration and productivity. Water source partitioning is an important next step towards quantifying Arundo’s direct impacts on water quantity in the Rio Grande Basin.

  1. Partition the source of transpirational water in Arundo compared to native trees, whether directly from the Rio Grande, or from incoming precipitation. Results will aid in water loss predictions for the Rio Grande.
  2. 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.
  3. Compare daily water loss and stand productivity in small field plots throughout the early, middle and late growing season. Field investigations will expand upon the previous year’s efforts to additional sites. Results will be used to make seasonal predictions of water loss from Arundo stands.
  4. 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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