We currently know little about the light requirements of Cabomba caroliniana. In nature cabomba can grow in shade and full sun, but we don't know its minimum light requirements, which dictate its depth distribution and how light affects its growth performance. While cabomba is shade tolerant, it might still have lower growth rates, so shading might be a viable management tool to reduce regrowth or manipulate its competitive advantage.

In this project, you'll investigate cabomba's light requirements through field survey, outdoor mesocosm and laboratory experimental components.

First, you'll set up an outdoor experiment in mesocosms at ESP to assess the effect of shading on growth performance of cabomba. You'll culture the cabomba in pots for six to eight weeks, then measure their total biomass, canopy height (length) and density (shoot numbers).

You'll then conduct a laboratory experiment to measure the light compensation point of cabomba to find the minimum light requirements for it to grow.

In the field, you'll measure the depth distribution and corresponding light availability and turbidity of the water. This will show if cabomba is limited by light availability in the real world, in particular, if the depth limitation of cabomba is regulated by light or other physiological factors. It will also help to get a better understanding of the habitat requirements of cabomba in nature.

Location: St Lucia, ESP

Expected outcomes: an understanding of the physiology and biology of cabomba

Supervisors: Professor Steve Adkins, Dr Tobias Bickel (Queensland DAF)

Before you apply: contact the primary supervisor for more details

Project members

Professor Steve Adkins

Professor
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Affiliated Professor
Centre for Plant Science

Dr Tobias Bickel

Adjunct Senior Fellow
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences