In this study we aim to assess the photosynthetic rate of native Malosma laurina (M. laurina) seedling, in comparison to M. laurina seedlings growing amongst several hundred B. nigra invasive plants. We predicted that there will be a difference in the stomatal conductance of each population. We measured photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), seedling height, and stomatal conductance of two isolated populations of M. laurina seedlings. One population grows near B. nigra, an invasive specie, and the other only grows amongst native plants. We found that M. laurina seedlings growing near weeds was significantly taller than the population of M. laurina growing away from any invasive weeds. Seedling heights were directly correlated to a statistically significant (*ɑ=0.05, P-value < 0.0001) different amount of light they were exposed to. There was no significant difference (ɑ=0.05, P-value < 0.2221) in stomatal conductance between the two populations. M. laurina seedlings compensate for a lack of light exposure when grown amongst invasive species by allocating more resources to extend their shoot length.
Aguirre, Natalie M.; Vargas, Agustin; and Shin, Phoebe, "Fitness Parameters in Malosma laurina Seedlings Growing Near and Away from Invasive Brassica nigra" (2015). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 201.