2024 Student Research Conference:
37th Annual Student Research Conference

Crayfish Cravings: An Investigation of Feeding Preferences on Invasive Pondweed

Megan G. Perkins* and Austin Humbrecht
Dr. Robert D. Sieg, Faculty Mentor

Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) is an invasive freshwater macrophyte species that has spread across North America since its discovery in the early 1840s.  Like all plants, pondweed must allocate resources toward growth, reproduction, and defense, as resources are limited. Invasive species often experience less pressure to protect themselves from predators as they have not co-evolved alongside them. This raises the question of whether or not pondweed invests in chemically defending itself at all. A series of feeding assays will be done, using crayfish, to investigate the plant's physical and chemical defensive properties. Over the years, pondweed has reduced biodiversity, outcompeted native plants, and obstructed recreation in the waterways it has reached. Learning whether or not it is chemically defended can give more insight into understanding the allocation patterns of this ecologically impactful, invasive freshwater macrophyte species. 


Keywords: ecology, chemistry , invasive , pondweed, macrophyte , resources , defenses

Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Session: 3-1
Location: SUB Activities Room
Time: 3:00

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