Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Student, Prof Present Research on Invasive Weed

28.07.2008
A Valparaiso University biology major and his faculty adviser will discuss how native wildflowers may be able to survive the onslaught of a poisonous invasive weed during a presentation at the annual conference of the Ecological Society of America in August. Valparaiso is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Senior Jonathan Finger of Algonquin, Ill., launched a research project into methods for controlling garlic mustard in the spring of 2007 at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in southwestern Michigan. He said garlic mustard, which plagues the Midwest and has aggressively invaded fields and forests from the East Coast to the West Coast, is more than a mere nuisance.

“The weed produces a chemical that poisons nearby plants, so not only does it compete with and overpower native plants, it down right poisons them,” Finger said. “Garlic mustard is killing our country’s biodiversity.”

With assistance from Dr. Laurie Eberhardt, associate professor of biology, Finger has conducted a series of experiments on and off campus to determine whether garlic mustard’s poison could be controlled with activated carbon, a form of carbon usually derived from charcoal.

... more about:
»Chemical »Plants »charcoal »poison

During research last summer at Pierce Cedar Creek – supported by a $6,000 grant from the Institute’s Undergraduate Research Grants for the Environment program – Finger applied activated carbon to test plots where garlic mustard was either present or absent. He then observed differences in the growth of the native plants.

That summer research was followed up by laboratory experiments on campus during the past academic year. One of those experiments looked at the effects of garlic mustard’s poisonous secretions on the germination of native columbine seeds and whether activated charcoal could reduce the negative impact of those chemicals. In a second experiment, columbine was germinated in soil either rich in garlic mustard chemicals or soil without any of the chemicals to see if the chemicals damaged wildflowers post-germination.

The results of Finger’s experiments indicate that applying activated carbon in places where native plants are threatened by garlic mustard can help them – and the wildlife that rely on native flora – survive.

“When my proposed treatment of activated charcoal was added to columbine exposed to the garlic mustard toxins, germination rates increased compared to those without the treatment,” Finger said. “This leads to the idea that activated charcoal may be a way to give wildflowers a fighting chance against poorly-behaved plants like garlic mustard.”

Finger and Dr. Eberhardt will present their study on the use of activated carbon to alleviate garlic mustard’s toxic effects on Aug. 8, the final day of the Ecological Society of America conference, which begins Aug. 3 in Milwaukee.

Dr. Eberhardt said it is rare for undergraduate students to be invited to present their research at the society’s annual conference, which is expected to draw more than 3,500 scientists, students and educators.

While not preparing for the conference presentation, Finger has split his summer working at the Environmental Learning Center at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and at the Shirley Heinze Land Trust.

Finger spends his weekday mornings and afternoons doing field restoration for the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the unique ecosystems of the Indiana Dunes region.

“I’m out in their nature preserves applying herbicide, cutting trees and being an overall steward of the land,” said Finger, a student in Valparaiso’s interdisciplinary honors college (Christ College).

After finishing his field restoration work each day, Finger heads to his second job as a naturalist-trainee at the Indiana Dunes. He helps run summer camps at the Environmental Learning Center and lives in a cabin with elementary to high school age boys who are learning about nature, ecology and how to be a responsible environmentalist during the week-long camps.

Dustin J. Wunderlich | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.cur.org

Further reports about: Chemical Plants charcoal poison

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>