Theses and Dissertations

Title: Environmental influences of alligatorweed control by Agasicles beetles

Name: Mixon, William Wilson

Degree: MS

Chair: Dr. John M. Lawrence

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 1970

Pages: 67

Keywords: Environmental Influences,Alligatorweed Control,Agasicles Beetles.


Two aquatic plant species, alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), were sampled periodically from April 17 to October 29, 1969, on Lake Seminole. These samples were analyzed for calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, strontium, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, lead, chromium, nickel, cobalt, cadmium, nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorous. Tests to determine percentage ash and percentage moisture of the plant samples were also conducted. These chemical analyses were performed to determine if changes occurred in the elemental composition of the vegetation possibly due to foraging activities of Agasicles beetles. Various elemental changes did occur in both hydrophytic species. As the growing season progressed from spring to fall, decreases in nitrogen, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and calcium occurred in alligatorweed. Iron content displayed an increasing percentage trend in alligatorweed. Calcium content increased in water hyacinth, whereas carbon and nitrogen content decreased throughout the season in this plant. A large acreage of alligatorweed was destroyed by Agasicles beetles and was replaced by invading water hyacinths. The amount of nutrients released by alligatorweed was equivalent to 30% of that picked up by the expanding hyacinths.

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