The ability of invasive macrophytes to survive out of water, i.e., their desiccation tolerance, is an important indicator of capacity for spread to new waterbodies through overland transport. Invasion by the alga starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa [Desv. in Loisel.] J. Groves; Characeae) in North America is likely driven via overland transport, but little is known regarding its ability to remain viable out of water. We conducted laboratory and outdoor experiments to evaluate desiccation tolerance of N. obtusa propagules, including single stem fragments, small and large clumps of fragments, and bulbils (asexual reproductive structures). Propagules were removed from water after 15 min to 5 d to identify desiccation thresholds. The data from these experiments are documented and available here for public availability and use.
The files include data from an outdoor Nitellopsis obtusa desiccation experiment conducted in August 2017 and a laboratory desiccation experiment conducted in October 2017. There are separate data files for N. obtusa fragments and bulbils for each experiment. Additionally, compressed folders containing photographs of bulbils from the outdoor (August) experiment and of fragments from the laboratory (October) experiments are included. Please see the manuscript referenced below for a full description of the experimental methods and the Read Me file for a full description of the data files.
Sponsorship: Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center; Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
Glisson WJ, Wagner CK, Verhoeven MR, Muthukrishnan R, Contreras-Rangel R, Larkin DJ (2020) Desiccation tolerance of the invasive alga starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) as an indicator of overland spread risk. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 58: 7–18