Ten potted plants of each of the four Spartina species were transported to the Spartina-dominated marsh at Hythe, a site previously shown to have an established P. marginata population (Harkin and Stewart 2020). Hythe is considered to be the site of origin for both Spartina x townsendii and Spartina anglica (Raybould et al. 1991), although it is no longer possible to locate the former at the site. S. alterniflora is still present in a monospecific stand of approximately 125m2, with the remainder of the marsh populated by S. anglica (Renny-Byfield et al. 2010). Experimental plants were arranged in ten groups, with each group containing one individual of each species. Groups were randomly distributed in an area of established saltmarsh dominated by S. anglica measuring 20 m × 30 m, with a minimum of 1.5 m between each group. Within each group, plants were maintained in separate pots, arranged 10 cm apart in a 2 × 2 grid. Each group of pots was buried so that the tops were level with the surrounding substrate. After 24 days, all leaf material of the experimental plants was removed, measured for leaf length and examined under a dissecting microscope for P. marginata eggs. P. marginata egg density in each plant was expressed as the number per cm of combined lengths of all leaves.

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