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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 6;7:43826. doi: 10.1038/srep43826.

Vegetative propagation capacity of invasive alligator weed through small stolon fragments under different treatments.

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Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, P. R. China.
School of Chemistry and Life Sciences, Guizhou Education University, Guiyang 550018, P. R. China.


The ability to propagate via small diaspores is crucial for the invasion of a clone plant that does not reproduce sexually in its introduced range. We investigated the effects of node and internode adjacent mode, fragment type, burial orientation and position of the node in relation to the soil surface on the sprouting and growth of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Griseb.). All the factors had effects and interaction effects on the sprouting rate and growth. As a whole fragment in all treatments, the fragments with basal node buried upward on the soil surface, exhibited the best above-ground growth and root growth. The one-node fragment with basal node buried downward above the soil surface and upward under the soil surface significantly decreased the above-ground growth and root growth compared to that of the two-node fragment. Therefore, the one-node fragments were more affected by environmental conditions than the two-node fragments. The results indicated that reducing the number of nodes of a fragment and burying the node under the soil or orienting it downward above the soil surface could be applied to control the invasion of alligator weed.

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