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Seasonal changes in chemical composition of Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) and water temperature at two sites in northern California: Implications for herbivory

Publication Type:

Journal Article




We compared seasonal changes in Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) characteristics and water temperature for a shallow pond in Davis, CA, and the Truckee River, near Tahoe Cit): CA. Tissue C and N were 15% lower in plants from the Truckee River than in plants from the Davis pond. Seasonal fluctuations in tissue N were also different. Mean phenolic acid content of Truckee River plants (162 mu M g(-1)) was less than those from the shallow pond (195 mu M g(-1)). Phenolic acid content was positively related to tissue C for Truckee River and Davis pond plants and, tissue C:N ratio for Truckee River plants. Mean monthly water temperature (1990 to 1998) for the Truckee River site was less than 20 C. Water temperatures were warmer in August and September at this site. However; Eurasian watermilfoil collected during these months was characterized by lower levels of tissue N. During a 29-month period beginning January 1994, mean monthly water temperature for the Davis pond exceeded 20 C, only during July to September 1995. Tissue N was generally greater during summer for watermilfoil growing in the pond. These results imply that Eurasian watermilfoil biological control agents may have different developmental rates in these habitats, and thus different impacts on watermilfoil populations.