Event Title

Nitrogen Uptake of Native and Non-Native Flowering Plants

Date

1-4-2016 12:00 AM

Major

Biology

Department

Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Project Advisor

Lori Biederman

Project Advisor's Department

Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology

Description

Nitrogen (N) content in plants is a frequent focus of studies regarding community health and species diversity. N from agricultural runoff acts as a pollutant, altering native plant. Plants vary in their ability to take up N, and their relative abilities to do so are largely unknown. This is important to study, as a plant’s ability to compete for N can determine its survival and impact species diversity. Measurement of N in the field is a costly and difficult process. A relatively inexpensive app, Fieldscout GreenIndex+ has been designed to quickly and easily measure plant N. Used in concert with the associated color palette, this technology is a non-destructive tool for field measurement. The app was designed to work for corn. In this experiment, we tested its effectiveness in measuring N in native and non-native prairie plant species. Different amounts of N were added to the soil of the plants, and the greenness of the leaves were measured in 3-week increments. At the end of the study, the actual nitrogen content of the plants was determined using chemical analysis. We found that the Fieldscout app was only moderately effective at measuring plant nitrogen content (r2 = 0.092, p = 0.53). There was no significant difference in the ability of the app to measure N in native and non-native plants.

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Apr 1st, 12:00 AM

Nitrogen Uptake of Native and Non-Native Flowering Plants

Nitrogen (N) content in plants is a frequent focus of studies regarding community health and species diversity. N from agricultural runoff acts as a pollutant, altering native plant. Plants vary in their ability to take up N, and their relative abilities to do so are largely unknown. This is important to study, as a plant’s ability to compete for N can determine its survival and impact species diversity. Measurement of N in the field is a costly and difficult process. A relatively inexpensive app, Fieldscout GreenIndex+ has been designed to quickly and easily measure plant N. Used in concert with the associated color palette, this technology is a non-destructive tool for field measurement. The app was designed to work for corn. In this experiment, we tested its effectiveness in measuring N in native and non-native prairie plant species. Different amounts of N were added to the soil of the plants, and the greenness of the leaves were measured in 3-week increments. At the end of the study, the actual nitrogen content of the plants was determined using chemical analysis. We found that the Fieldscout app was only moderately effective at measuring plant nitrogen content (r2 = 0.092, p = 0.53). There was no significant difference in the ability of the app to measure N in native and non-native plants.