SciFest National Final 2021

Project 24

Project 24

Nature Takes on Nature: Investigating the Effect of Juglone on Japanese Knotweed

Students Grace Ni Ifearnáin
School Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí, Tobar Mhaigh Dor, Trá Lí, Co. Chiarraí
Teacher Tríona Uí Mhaolchatha
Venue MTU Tralee
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Abstract

The aim of my project was to:

  1. Examine the correlation between Black Walnut tree and Japanese Knotweed.
  2. Extract Juglone from the hulls of the Black Walnut tree and investigate the effect on the growth of Japanese Knotweed.

Part 1 was to determine whether there was a correlation between the two variables, the Black Walnut tree and Japanese Knotweed. This was achieved through surveys, observation, archival data (documents and records), Biodiversity Maps Ireland and semi-structured interviews.

Part 2 focused on extracting Juglone from the hulls and measuring 0.5 grammes to make up three solutions: distilled water, methanol, methanol and 1% ascorbic acid. The filtered solutions were analysed with a spectrometer and the reading did find the presence of a chemical, the highest reading in the methanol and 1% ascorbic acid.

The final part involved spraying Japanese Knotweed with the 3 solutions. The areas were sectioned off, pictures taken and roots and leaves sprayed every second day for one week. From the work carried out in this project it was shown that there was no Japanese Knotweed growing within 150 feet of Black Walnut trees. Of the three solutions, methanol and 1% ascorbic acid which had the highest reading on the spectrometer had a discolouration effect on the leaves of the Japanese Knotweed. The discolouration seen on the leaves on the Japanese Knotweed that were sprayed leads me to believe that the extractions did have a negative effect on the Japanese Knotweed, this will be monitored further.

Poster

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