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Lordan 1 Effect of competition on Lemna minor Daniel James Lordan

Introduction: Lemna minor, more commonly known as lesser duckweed, is a tiny flowering plant that is found in most of our countrys water sources.1 While globally it can be used for feeding cattle, fish, and li estock,! its primary purpose here is remo ing e"cess nutrients from waterways with a high runoff content.# $hrough bioremediation, a process that in ol es using organisms to stabili%e or correct for an en ironmental problem, water nutrient le els can be controlled. Duckweed can help with bioremediation by pulling nitrogen and phosphorus out of the water.& $his process, using plants to remo e pollutants from the water, is a special type of bioremediation designated phytoremediation.' $he biomass that is then created can be skimmed off and used for feed, gi ing an easy way to maintain desired nutrient le el. (n order to identify how effecti e Lemna minor can be at phytoremediation, it needs to be e"amined under different types of en ironments. $he purpose of sub)ecting the organism to different treatments comes from the possible use of Lemna minor or another a*uatic plant Salvinia minima as a treatment for wastewater.+ ,y comparing growth of both plants in the presence of e"cess nitrogen, e"cess phosphorus, and one another, their relati e growth rates can be compared. -easuring plant growth is the best way to test reproducti e success and would therefore gi e the best appro"imation for which plant performs better under certain conditions. .ur research *uestions surround this growth/ under what nutrient and

Lordan ! competition conditions do Lemna minor and Salvinia minima grow the best0 We hypothesi%e that both plants will grow better under increased nutrient conditions due to the a ailability of resources. When placed in competition with one another, howe er, they will both suffer for lack of resources.

Materials and Methods: 1opulations of Lemna minor were transferred into plastic containers using forceps. 2ll 13 o%. containers were filled with artificial pond water from $he 1ennsyl ania 4tate 5ni ersity. $he first culture, known as 6.71, was a control made of 1! Lemna minor indi idual plants. $he second culture, 6.7!, was a second control made of !& plants. E"perimental cultures #/', labeled 81,9 8!,9 and 8#,9 were e*ui alent replicas of one another/ 1! plants of Lemna minor and 1! plants of Salvinia minima combined to make !& total plants.: 2ll plants were then transported to the ,uckhout Lab where they were stored in an ad)oined greenhouse. Week 3 count begins -arch #rd, !31&. 1lants were watered three times a week between ; and 1! and counted -ondays at noon <sans Week 1 due to spring break=. 2ll cultures were kept around :33 > and water le els were constant. 1lants were counted by identifying full thalli during weekly counts <as opposed to counting indi iduals, as in the setup=. 6oncurrent e"periments were run using the same controls but different e"perimental groups. 2nother e"perimental group also using Lemna minor added phosphorus to the artificial pond water 1! Lemna minor plants.; 2 third added nitrogen to their Lemna minor cultures.? $wo other e"periments were run using Salvinia minima as a

Lordan # control@ one added phosphorus to cultures of Salvinia minima13 and one added nitrogen.11 2ll controls were set up simultaneously, all cultures across the different e"periments were contained together, and all counts were taken in the same way. (n order to find A, or the geometric rate of increase, E"cel graphing was used. >irst a plot of 7 s. t was created, then a second graph using ln<7= to correct for the e"ponential growth was made. $he slope of this line was the appro"imated rmax, or ma"imum per capita rate of increase. $his is related to the geometric rate of increase, A, by the natural log, so A was found by taking erma". A was also calculated by taking 7tB1C7t.1! (n order to find carrying capacity intermediate A alues were plotted. $he point at which A D 1 <which is when there is no net growth= is the carrying capacity so sol ing for 7 gi es E. E can also be estimated by di iding the si%e of the container by the si%e of thalli.1! $he final model used was the Lotka/Folterra 6ompetition e*uation, for which@ 4pecies 1@ r1 G 71 G <E1 H 71 H I7!= E1 and 4pecies !@ r! G 7! G <E! H 7! H J71= E! $his model takes into consideration the competition coefficient that shows the effect of each species on one another. <I7!=CE1 was calculated by finding Amonoculture / Ami"ed. 1! 1rocedure can be found in Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities.+

Lordan & Results: 7ote/ 849 denotes Salvinia minima thalli, L denotes Lemna minor thalli Lemna and Salvinia in competition Week 6.71 6.7! 3 !; L &' L ! # & 13? L 1?# L #!+ L ?; L !1& L #?; L 1 !' LC !' 4 !+ LC +# 4 '! LC ?! 4 '& LC 11+ 4 ! 1! LC !& 4 !1 LC '1 4 '! LC ?! 4 &! LC13' 4 # !' LC !' 4 #! LC '; 4 #3 LC :3 4 :+ LC 1!! 4

Table 1: Ems Lems population count 7

Lemna minor in the presence of added phosphorus Week 6.71 6.7! 1 3 1; L && L #? L ! # & +; L 7o Data 1?; L 1++ L !+3 L +!# L !3# L !;# L ?1+ L

! #; L 1'! L !&# L ?+! L

# #: L 1!! L 1:! L ??; L

Table 2: WLGYL population count 8

Lemna minor in the presence of added nitrogen Week 6.71 6.7! 1 3 !! L &? L ': L ! # & 1!3 L !+# L '13 L '3 L 1'& L !?3 L 1#' L !+! L &1: L

! !? L 1+3 L !1# L #&' L

# '& L 1'1 L !!; L #;+ L

Table 3: SLS! " population count #

Salvinia minima in the presence of added phosphorus Week 6.71 6.7! 1 3 !# 4 #; 4 '# 4 ! # & '! 4 13? 4 1'# 4 ;+ 4 1#3 4 1?3 4 ;' 4 1:3 4 !!? 4

! +! 4 11! 4 1:# 4 !1? 4

# &' 4 1!' 4 1;+ 4 !&3 4

Table $: %&'to (i)&ters population count 1*

Salvinia minima in the presence of added nitrogen Week 6.71 6.7! 1

Lordan ' 3 ! # & #3 4 ;? 4 ;& 4 1?' 4 '! 4 1&! 4 1#; 4 #1? 4 &: 4 1#& 4 1'+ 4 ##+ 4 '; 4 1+; 4 !3: 4 #!: 4 '& 4 1:! 4 #1# 4 #&! 4

Table +: ,salvinaprob- population count 1*

$he a erage counts for 6.71, or the 1! plant control for Lemna minor were then calculated and graphed to show the relationship. $his control was compared to the e"perimental cultures 1, !, and # for Lemna minor in competition with Salvinia minima. $he two counts are compared side by side to show the relationship. Average Count for Lemna minor Plant Control Week 2 erage Lemna minor thalli <6.71= 3 !!.+: ! ??.## # !!; & #&&.+: 2 erage Lemna minor thalli <6.7 #/'= !3.+: !+.## &'.## ':.##

Table .: !vera)e Lemna minor t&alli count /oun0 b' ta1in) t&e avera)e o/ all 12 plant Lemna minor controls /rom t&e class2 !vera)e Lemna minor t&alli count 3 45 36+7 /oun0 b' ta1in) t&e avera)e o/ all t&ree experimental containers /rom Group 12

6ontrol

E"perimental

Grap& 1: !vera)e Lemna minor in 12 plant control vs2 8ee1s past9 s&o8n in blue9 an0 avera)e Lemna minor in competition vs2 8ee1s past9 s&o8n in re0

Lordan +

4ince there was an e"ponential relationship for both plots, the natural log of all data points was calculated and graphed to lineari%e the data. $he slope of the new line is the calculated rma". A was found by taking 7tB1C7t. Ln(Average Count for Lemna 12 Plant Control and E perimental! Week 7atural log of a erage Lemna minor 7atural log of 2 erage Lemna minor thalli <6.71= thalli <6.7 #/'= 3 #.1!3? #.3!;: ! &.'?;' #.!:3: # '.&!?# #.;1&3 & '.;&!' &.3&;;
Table 7: 5atural lo) o/ avera)e Lemna minor t&alli counts9 /oun0 b' ta1in) t&e natural lo) o/ all avera)es /rom Table +2 T&is 8as 0one to lineari-e t&e 0ata2

6ontrol E"perimental

Grap& 2: 5atural lo) o/ avera)e Lemna minor in 12 plant control an0 in competition vs2 8ee1s past

" Calculation from ermax 4ince the slope of the lines in Kraph ! are the rmax of each group, the o erall geometric rate of increase can be calculated for both as well.

Lordan : 6ontrol A D erma" A D e3.:331 A D !.31& E"perimental A D erma" A D e3.!+&& A D 1.#3#

$his is not the same as the intermediate A that can be calculated from 7tB1C7t " Calculation from #t$1%#t Week 3 ! # & Amonocolture <7tB1C7t= &.#;#' !.!?'& 1.'11: / Ami"ed <7tB1C7t= 1.!:&! 1.:!1' 1.!+&: /

Table 86 :nterme0iate ; calculations /rom e<uation )iven212

6ontrol E"perimental

Grap& 36 ; :ntervals vs2 5

(n order to find E, or carrying capacity, the regression line from e"cel was set to e*ual one and sol ed <since when AD1, 7DE=. 2s the slope of the regression line for the e"perimental group was close to 3, the carrying capacity was calculated using the control only. 1D /3.31#!"B&.!++& /#.!++!D/3.31#!" "D!&:.&'&'

Lordan ;

$his means that the calculated carrying capacity is !&:.&'&'. (n order to estimate the competiti e effect, <I7!=CE1, the geometric rates of increase were subtracted from one another. <Data from $able ; columns ! and #=. Competitive Effect Week 3 ! # & Amonocolture &.#;#' !.!?'& 1.'11: / Ami"ed 1.!:&! 1.:!1' 1.!+&: / Amonocolture / Ami"ed #.13?# 3.':#? 3.!&:3 /

Table #6interme0iate 3=527>?1 calculations2

&iscussion: $here was an ob ious effect on the growth of Lemna minor with the addition of Salvinia minima. $he highest thalli total for the Lemna in competition was :+, whereas the control got to #!+ thalli by the end of the four weeks. $his shows that the Lemna is not as effecti e in the presence of the other species. $he competiti e effect <calculate in $able ?= was always positi e, meaning that there was less growth in the competition cultures. (f <I7!=CE1 had been 3, there would ha e been no effect on growth and the cultures would ha e been identical. (nstead there was a high le el of competition to begin with which trailed off near the end of the four weeks. While there was still a calculated effect of this interspecific competition, the calculated alue from the fourth week was only 3.!' as compared to the #.1 in week 3. $his could be due to the fact that the closer the population is to the carrying capacity, the more intraspecific competition there is as well. $herefore, interspecific might not be as noticeable as when there are few members of both species. $his idea of one species butting the other out is consistent with the competiti e

Lordan ? e"clusion principle, which states that no two species that are in direct competition to one another can inhabit the same niche.1# $here is ob iously an effect on Lemna minor, which means that the two are in competition with one another. $he competiti e e"clusion principle, also known as Kauses Law, tells us that one will ine itably dri e the other to e"tinction. Which one will outcompete the other cannot be known at this point <one might originally ha e an edge o er the other but time might show another relationship=. >uture e"periments should run the tests for longer. E"periments !/' showed a definite increase in growth when in the presence of added nutrients. $his means that Lemna minor and Salvinia minima would both be good plants to use for nutrient stabili%ation. Salvinia minimia grew more in the presence of added nitrogen, which means that it is a better phytoremediator in nitrogen rich en ironments. Lemna minor flourished better in the phosphorus e"periments yet also did well in the nitrogen e"periments. $he Lemna nitrogen cultures actually had higher growth than the Salvinia nitrogen cultures, meaning that, while each species had a preferred nutrient, Lemna did better in both e"perimental en ironments. $o determine which to use for the 1enn 4tate water treatment, samples of runoff that flow into the waterways here should be tested <i.e. the actual water isnt merely added phosphorous or nitrogen but a mi" of the two and others=. $he data was consistent with the original hypothesis that increased nutrient le els would support growth but competition would hurt both. $his means that both would be good phytoremediators but combined they probably wouldnt fare too well. 1ossible sources of error in this e"periments come from inconsistencies in tending <if one group watered more or had shade o er some of their e"perimental groups=. 2lso,

Lordan 13 all plants were hand counted so the counts could be slightly off as well.

Leferences@
1. M1lants 1rofile for Lemna <Duckweed=.M !)ricultural @esearc& Service. 54D2, n.d. Web. !' -ar. !31&. !. MLemna -inor.M Lemna Ainor 3lesser "uc18ee07 an0 Lemna Trisulca 3star "uc18ee072 Washington 5ni ersity Department of Ecology, n.d. Web. !' -ar. !31&. #. MEn ironmental (n*uiry / ,ioremediation.M Bioreme0iation. En ironmental (n*uiry, !33?. Web. !& -ar. !31&. &. 6ross, John W. M$he 6harms of Duckweed.M T&e &arms o/ "uc18ee0. -issouri ,otanical Karden, n.d. Web. !' -ar. !31&. '. M1hytoremediation@ 5sing 1lants $o 6lean 5p 4oils.M !)ricultural @esearc& Service. 54D2, n.d. Web. !# -ar. !31&. +. Nass, 6.2., D. ,urpee, L. -eisel, and 2. Ward. !31#. 82 1reliminary 4tudy of the Effects of E"cess 7utrients and (nterspecies 6ompetition on 1opulation Krowth of Lemna minor and Salvinia minima29 (n 2 Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. <,urpee, D. and 6. Nass, eds.= Department of ,iology, $he 1ennsyl ania 4tate 5ni ersity, 5ni ersity 1ark, 12. 2dapted from ,eiswenger, J. -. 1??#. E"periments $o $each Ecology. 2 1ro)ect of the Education 6ommittee of the Ecological 4ociety of 2merica. Ecological 4ociety of 2merica, $empe, 2O. pp. ;#/13'. :. Kroup 1/ Ems Lems. E"periments 1 and # from 1lant Krowth Lab in Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. !!3- 4ec. 331N 4pr. 1& ;. Kroup !/ WLKPL. E"periments 1 and ! <Lemna minor in the presence of added phosphorus= from 1lant Krowth Lab in Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. !!3- 4ec. 331N 4pr. 1& ?. Kroup #/ 64L426D. E"periments 1 and ! <Lemna minor in the presence of added nitrogen= from 1lant Krowth Lab in Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. !!3- 4ec. 331N 4pr. 1& 13. Kroup &/ 1hyto >ighters. E"periments 1 and ! <Salvinia minima in the presence of added phosphorus= from 1lant Krowth Lab in Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. !!3- 4ec. 331N 4pr. 1& 11. Kroup '/ Qsal iniaprob%. E"periments 1 and ! <Salvinia minima in the presence of added nitrogen= from 1lant Krowth Lab in Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. !!3- 4ec. 331N 4pr. 1& 1!. 1opulation Krowth E*uations Worksheet. Laboratory -anual for ,iology !!3W@ 1opulations and 6ommunities. <,urpee, D. and 6. Nass, eds.= Department of ,iology, $he 1ennsyl ania 4tate 5ni ersity, 5ni ersity 1ark, 12 1#. "Competitive Exclusion in Ecology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. !1". #$ttp%&&'''.sciencedaily.com&articles&c&competitive(exclusion(principle.$tm).