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Experimental Design: Aquatic Plants

Howdy guys,

First let me start by thanking everyone who has contributed to this list 
since it's inception; I do believe that it is the best resource on aquatic 
plants currently available.  Through many years of trial and error, we have 
amassed a wonderful database of anecdotes and testimonials, as well as some 
more formal experiments.

I'm writing this reflecting on a comment made earlier by Scott Hieber about 
the lack of hard copy publication and realized that a lot of current 
practice among most of us is not formally documented.  I'm interested in 
starting a discussion about how I (and hopefully others) may be able to 
take some of the qualitative observations made here and design meaning 
quantitative experiments and subsequently publish this data in an 
appropriate journals (TAG, FAMA, etc)

So, first, I want to make sure I'm not re-inventing the wheel.  Other than 
hobbyist publications, are there any academic journals which may have 
already published some of the techniques we use?  (CO2 fert, N/P/K 
dosing)  Secondly, I was wondering if someone could describe or give some 
references about how to accurately measure plant "health" (dissolved oxygen 
levels to measure photosynthesis perhaps?)  What analytical lab techniques 
exist to put a number on "plant growth"?  Specifically, I am interested in 
watching plant response to various nutrient levels.  For example, I wish to 
investigate NO3/PO4/K levels and generate a response surface.  I am 
imagining two tanks, under the same light, substrate, with separate 
filters, 10 6" lengths of my favorite stem plant in each tank.  Other than 
dry weight, are there any other ways to quantify and compare the growth in 
these tanks?

I am starting graduate school and will be in a position to beg for some 
time on very good equipment (FTIR, AA, Mass Spec/GC, Analytical balances) 
and would really like to do a few good experiments and give something back.

Jeff Ludwig
Newark, DE