Help re allelopathy in aquatic plants

Malcolm B. Young malyoung at
Mon Jan 8 21:54:29 EST 1996

For the past few years I (actually this is from my daughter - a high 
school junior) have been conducting experiments using the 
aquatic plant duckweed and certain species of blue-green algae. I have 
had interesting results that have resulted in several awards for my 
efforts. Now I am trying to conduct a chemical analysis of the water 
after the duckweed and the algae have been in it in order to verify 
that chemicals which might effect algae growth have actually been 
released in the water as a result of adding the duckweed.  The 
literature I have read and my findings to date sugest that duckweed is 
an allelopathic plant, and I am essentially just trying to figure out 
what chemicals it is giving off into the water that might affect the 
growth of the algae.  

The chemists at the US Department of Agriculture and at George 
Washington University that I have contacted each tell me that testing 
water without knowing what I am looking for is very complex and beyond 
my abilities (or their ability to help me - I am a hitgh school
junior). They suggest that I try and find out what other researchers
have found to be the chemicals that duckweed releases - or what experts
in the field might hypothesize.  If you have ANY ideas on how I might
do so, please help!

Thank you very much.


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