Biology, ecology, and management of starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa; Characeae): A Red-listed Eurasian green alga invasive in North America

Daniel J. Larkin, Anna K. Monfils, Aurélie Boissezon, Robin S. Sleith, Paul M. Skawinski, Charles H. Welling, Blake C. Cahill, Kenneth G. Karol

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitellopsis obtusa (starry stonewort) is a green macroalga (family Characeae) native to Europe and Asia that is of conservation concern in its native range but expanding in North America. We synthesize current science on N. obtusa and identify key knowledge gaps. Nitellopsis obtusa is able to reproduce sexually or asexually via fragments and bulbils. Native populations reproduce primarily asexually; sexual fertility increases with longer growing seasons and in shallower waters. In North America, only males have been observed. Nitellopsis obtusa has been known from North America for four decades and confirmed in seven U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. It is typically associated with low-flow areas of lakes with alkaline to neutral pH and elevated conductivity. Nitellopsis obtusa has ecological benefits in its native range, contributing to food webs and water clarity. In its invaded range, N. obtusa could negatively influence native macrophytes and habitat quality, but there has been little research on impacts. There have been many efforts to control N. obtusa through physical removal or chemical treatments, but little systematic evaluation of outcomes. Substantial areas of uncertainty regarding N. obtusa include controls on reproduction, full distribution in North America, ecological impacts, and control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Botany
Volume148
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the Nitellopsis Working Group was provided by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) and the Clean Water Fund. Additional sources of funding include MAISRC/ENRTF (DJL) ; Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (AKM, BC) ; International Phycological Society Paul C. Silva Student Grant for Research, Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Graduate Scholarship , Northeast Algal Society Student Grant to Support Research, and Phycological Society of America Grants in Aid of Research (RSS) ; Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust (KGK) ; the National Science Foundation DEB-1020660 , DEB-1036466 (KGK) , DEB-1701691 (KGK, RSS) ; and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (PMS) . We thank Susan Galatowitsch, Rebecca Nash, and Christine Lee for their support of the Nitellopsis Working Group and the editor and three anonymous reviewers for comments that substantially improved the manuscript. We dedicate this paper to the memory of our friend and collaborator Charles “Chip” Welling.

Funding Information:
Funding for the Nitellopsis Working Group was provided by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) and the Clean Water Fund. Additional sources of funding include MAISRC/ENRTF (DJL); Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program (AKM, BC); International Phycological Society Paul C. Silva Student Grant for Research, Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Graduate Scholarship, Northeast Algal Society Student Grant to Support Research, and Phycological Society of America Grants in Aid of Research (RSS); Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust (KGK); the National Science FoundationDEB-1020660, DEB-1036466 (KGK), DEB-1701691 (KGK, RSS); and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (PMS). We thank Susan Galatowitsch, Rebecca Nash, and Christine Lee for their support of the Nitellopsis Working Group and the editor and three anonymous reviewers for comments that substantially improved the manuscript. We dedicate this paper to the memory of our friend and collaborator Charles “Chip” Welling.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Charophycean
  • Invasion biology
  • Macrophytes
  • Plant diversity
  • Water chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Biology, ecology, and management of starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa; Characeae): A Red-listed Eurasian green alga invasive in North America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this