A 1978-81 survey of submersed aquatic macrophytes in the tidal Potomac River showed that there were virtually no plants in the freshwater tidal river between Chain Bridge and Quantico, Virginia, decades after the disappearance of plants in the late 1930's. Plant populations were monitored in subsequent years (1983-85) using qualitative shoreline surveys and quantitative resampling of the original 1978-81 transects. In 1983, 12 species of submersed aquatic macrophytes were found in the tidal river. Population increases were dramatic; by fall 1985, plants had colonized all shallow areas between Alexandria and Gunston Cove, Virginia. Hydrilla verticillata dominated in Dyke Marsh-Hunting Creek and Swan Creek. Most other areas contained a variable mixture of Heteranthera dubia, Myriophyllum spicatum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Vallisneria americana, Najas guadalupensis and Hydrilla verticillata. No plants were found along the main river or in tidal embayments in the reach between Gunston Cove and Quantico, Virginia. Total dry weight collected in the upper tidal river in fall 1985 was 14.5 times that of spring 1985, and four times that of fall 1984. ?? 1986 Estuarine Research Federation.
Additional publication details
Resurgence of submersed aquatic macrophytes in the tidal Potomac River, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia