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Preventing the spread of the invasive plant Lupinus polyphyllus.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Invasive species are an increasing problem worldwide, threatening indigenous communities and species. Many human-made environments promote introductions of alien species and one such habitat is road verges. The invasive plant Lupinus polyphyllus is benefiting from these habitats and is today widespread along road verges in many parts of Sweden. However, it has been shown to be a problematic species, as it supresses native plants. Many of these plants originate from semi-natural grasslands, but have found a refuge in road verges. The Swedish Transport Administration has tried to control L. polyphyllus, but it is unclear to what extent it is possible. To manage an invasive species, it is often preferable to prevent further extension by limiting its dispersal, which can be done by reducing seed production. To find out how to prevent L. polyphyllus from spreading, I investigated how resprouting capacity and seed production was affected by cutting of L. polyphyllus at different times throughout the season, and at different heights. Plants in all plots resprouted after being cut, but resprouted leaf stalks grew taller in the plants cut early at the flowering stage, compared to the later cutting treatments. These were also the only ones producing new flowers and fruits, perhaps due to stored resources in roots or the fact that they were cut before the summer solstice. Plants cut higher above the ground produced more flowers and fruits and produced taller leaf stalks and might have used photosynthesizing aboveground parts to acquire resources for regeneration. Fruits were produced but not ripe before the mid-summer cutting. These seeds were still able to germinate after maturing on cut plants. However, they were more mould-infected than seeds maturing on non-cut plants. Seeds from cut plants were also lighter. Thus, seeds produced by the mid-summer cutting might disperse and germinate but may perhaps suffer from lower survival due to more frequent mould infections. The late-cut plants had already produced mature seeds, and thus, were probably able to disperse. Also, the later cutting treatments produced more seeds over the entire season. This indicates that to hinder dispersal by limiting seed production, it is best to cut Lupinus polyphyllus as early as possible, in the flowering stage, when seeds are not produced and to cut them entirely to the ground.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 26 p.
Keyword [en]
Lupinus poluphyllus, large-leaved lupin, invasive species, spread, invasive species management, road verges
Keyword [sv]
Lupinus poluphyllus, blomsterlupin, invasiva arter, spridning, bekämpning, vägkanter
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-272024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-272024DiVA: diva2:893657
External cooperation
Trafikverket
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-01-26 Created: 2016-01-11 Last updated: 2016-01-26Bibliographically approved

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