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Dissertation Research Featured in State Magazine

August 1, 2011
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Unlike bedbugs and ticks whose nourishment comes from mammals, parasitic plants acquire mineral nutrients, sugar, and water by using cup-shaped root structures called haustoria to suck on the roots or stems of other plants. The most recent issue of Massachusetts Wildlife magazine features research by former University of Massachusetts Amherst and Harvard Forest graduate student and current HF post-doc, Sydne Record, who studied the curious relationships between a regionally rare hemiparasitic plant, Swamp Lousewort (Pedicularis lanceolata Michx.), and its host plants for her dissertation. The results of the research showed that Swamp Lousewort had higher survival and flower production when growing with native grasses as opposed to invasive grasses or native shrubs. The results of this research are now being used by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program to inform the best management practices for this state listed Endangered species.

Record, Sydne. 2011. A World of Opportunists: The Parasitic Plants. Massachusetts Wildlife Magazine. pp. 4-11. 

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