Water-level fluctuations affect macrophyte richness in floodplain lakes

  • Published source details Geest G.J.V., Wolters H., Roozen F.C.J.M., Coops H., Roijackers R.M.M., Buijse A.D. & Scheffer M. (2005) Water-level fluctuations affect macrophyte richness in floodplain lakes. Hydrobiologia, 539, 239-248.


Action: Excavate lakes

A replicated study in 1992–2003 of six excavated floodplain lakes in the Netherlands (Van Geest et al. 2005) reported that they all developed extensive coverage of submerged macrophytes within three years of excavation, but that coverage declined over longer time scales. Statistical significance was not assessed. In the first three years after excavation, submerged macrophyte coverage ranged from <1 to 100%. Five of six lakes had at least 50% coverage in at least one of these years. There were 2–10 submerged plant species/lake. Over longer timescales, submerged macrophyte coverage appeared to decline. For example, in 11 of 18 measurements made 4–10 years after excavation, it was <1%. The study suggests this may be related to the stability of water levels in the lake. Methods: The study used data from field surveys of six floodplain lakes in summer 1999, plus data from other sources for 1992–2003. The lakes had been excavated between 1989 and 1998 (further details not reported).

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