Saturday, April 29, 2017

Americanized Curly Pondweed Gardens for Aquatic Plant Research


Summary: Americanized curly pondweed gardens in aquaria, confined ponds and contained pools provide research settings for native and non-native aquatic plants.


curly pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), also known as curly-leaved pondweed; Alter Botanischer Garten Göttingen (Old Botanical Garden of Göttingen University), Lower Saxony, central Germany; September 1999: Christian Fischer, CC BY SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Americanized curly pondweed gardens advance aquatic research and avoid water takeovers by assigning Eurasian curly pondweed and Richardson's, sago and small pondweeds of North America to aquaria, confined ponds and contained pools.
Native Richardson's, sago and small pondweed members in the Potamogetonaceae family of aquatic herbs bear no weed designations yet in Canada, Mexico or the United States. They count among the 100 species in the Potamogeton and Stuckenia pondweed genera that combine to cover the globe but concentrate most populations in North America. Richard Dickinson, in Weeds of North America, University of Chicago Press publication in 2014, describes pondweeds as minimal in economic importance since its presence demands controls.
Dense strands that clog waterways earn curly pondweed weed designations in Alabama, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and Washington in the United States and in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Anecdotes and research furnish no information on seedling stages in the life cycles of curly pondweed, called curly-leaf pondweed commonly and Potamogeton crispus (curly river-neighbor) scientifically.
Curly pondweed, described by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (May 23, 1707-Jan. 10, 1778), goes dormant in summer and grows flowers, foliage and fruits in early spring. The submerged aquatic has flattened, 7.87- to 39.37-inch- (20- to 100-centimeter-) long, 0.04- to 0.08-inch- (1- to 2-millimeter-) thick stems whose axil unions hold vernal turions. The burlike, spindle-shaped, 0.59- to 1.18-inch- (1.5- to 3-centimeter-) long shoots, called turions, in the axil unions of leaves and stems include three to seven leaves.
The small, thickened turion leaves, germinating in fall and overwintering as small plants, join seeds and stem fragments as reproduction modes in Americanized curly pondweed gardens.

The aquatic perennial keeps out of the way of native North American species by knowing early spring growth and summer dormancies in Americanized curly pondweed gardens.
The submerged, two-ranked foliage lines one- to four-leaf sets into alternate, stalkless arrangements alongside the stem and, at foliar bases, brown, non-fibrous, non-shreddable membranes called stipules. The leaves and the stipules respectively measure 0.47 to 3.54 inches (1.2 to 9 centimeters) long and 0.16 to 0.39 inches (4 to 10 millimeters) wide. The 0.16- to 0.39-inch- (4- to 10-millimeter-) wide leaves, with fine-toothed, wavy margins and red midveins, nestle into the stems that nurture cylindrical inflorescences called spikes.
The 0.09- to 0.16-inch- (2.5- to 4-millimeter-) long spikes occupy curved, 0.79- to 3.94-inch- (2- to 10-centimeter-) long stalks and offer clustered green, perfect, regular flowers.

Biology provides April to May blooms for curly pondweed flowers with four pistils, four same-colored, same-looking, same-sized peals and sepals, collectively called tepals, and four stamens.
Flattened, oval, pitted, 0.12- to 0.19-inch- (3- to 5-millimeter-) long seeds with 0.08- to 0.09-inch- (2- to 2.5-millimeter-) long beaks non-explosively quit dry, one-seeded, spring-fruiting achenes. The germination and the viability of curly pondweed seeds remain anecdotal and scientific unknowns even though introductions into North America reveal dates as early as 1840. Similar unfamiliarities scorn lance-shaped to oval, three- to 35-veined, 0.63- to 5.12-inch- (1.6- to 13-centimeter-) long, 0.19- to 1.10-inch- (5- to 28-millimeter-) wide Richardson's pondweed leaves.
Aquaria, confined ponds and contained pools in Americanized curly pondweed gardens tap scientific facts from curly, Richardson's sago and small pondweeds by teasing weeds from waterways.

Curly pondweed's inflorescence comprises floral spikes that emerge above the watery surface for wind-dispersed pollination; "Curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) in the act of pollination" (figure 236, page 148): Anton Kerner von Marilaun (1895), Public Domain, via Biodiversity Heritage Library

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
curly pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), also known as curly-leaved pondweed; Alter Botanischer Garten Göttingen (Old Botanical Garden of Göttingen University), Lower Saxony, central Germany; September 1999: Christian Fischer, CC BY SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PotamogetonCrispus.jpg?uselang=fr
Curly pondweed's inflorescence comprises floral spikes that emerge above the watery surface for wind-dispersed pollination; "Curled pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) in the act of pollination" (figure 236, page 148): Anton Kerner von Marilaun (1895), Public Domain, via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/13623617

For further information:
Dickinson, Richard; and Royer, France. 2014. Weeds of North America. Chicago IL; London, England: The University of Chicago Press.
Kerner von Marilaun, Anton. 1895. The Natural History of Plants: Their Forms, Growth, Reproduction and Distribution. Translated and edited by F.W. Oliver; with the assistance of Marian Rusk, BSc. and Mary F. Ewart, BSc. Vol. II: The History of Plants. London, England; Glasgow, Scotland; Dublin, Ireland: Blackie and Son.
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/48478
Linnaeus, Carl. 1753. "5. Potamogeton crispum." Species Plantarum, vol. I: 126. Holmiae [Stockholm, Sweden]: Laurentii Salvii [Laurentius Salvius].
Available via Biodiversity Heritage Library @ http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/358145
"Potamogeton crispus L." Tropicos® > Name Search.
Available @ http://www.tropicos.org/Name/26300085
Weakley, Alan S.; Ludwig, J. Christopher; and Townsend, John F. 2012. Flora of Virginia. Edited by Bland Crowder. Fort Worth TX: BRIT Press, Botanical Research Institute of Texas.


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