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A proposed aquatic plant community biotic index for Wisconsin lakes

Environmental Management

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1007/s002670010107

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Abstract

The Aquatic Macrophyte Community Index (AMCI) is a multipurpose tool developed to assess the biological quality of aquatic plant communities in lakes. It can be used to specifically analyze aquatic plant communities or as part of a multimetric system to assess overall lake quality for regulatory, planning, management, educational, or research purposes. The components of the index are maximum depth of plant growth; percentage of the littoral zone vegetated; Simpson's diversity index; the relative frequencies of submersed, sensitive, and exotic species; and taxa number. Each parameter was scaled based on data distributions from a statewide database, and scaled values were totaled for the AMCI value. AMCI values were grouped and tested by ecoregion and lake type (natural lakes and impoundments) to define quality on a regional basis. This analysis suggested that aquatic plant communities are divided into four groups: (1) Northern Lakes and Forests lakes and impoundments, (2) North-Central Hardwood Forests lakes and impoundments, (3) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains lakes, and (4) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains impoundments, Driftless Area Lakes, and Mississippi River Backwater lakes. AMCI values decline from group 1 to group 4 and reflect general water quality and human use trends in Wisconsin. The upper quartile of AMCI values in any region are the highest quality or benchmark plant communities. The interquartile range consists of normally impacted communities for the region and the lower quartile contains severely impacted or degraded plant communities. When AMCI values were applied to case studies, the values reflected known impacts to the lakes. However, quality criteria cannot be used uncritically, especially in lakes that initially have low nutrient levels.The Aquatic Macrophyte Community Index (AMCI) is a multipurpose tool developed to assess the biological quality of aquatic plant communities in lakes. It can be used to specifically analyze aquatic plant communities or as part of a multimetric system to assess overall lake quality for regulatory, planning, management, educational, or research purposes. The components of the index are maximum depth of plant growth; percentage of the littoral zone vegetated; Simpson's diversity index; the relative frequencies of submersed, sensitive, and exotic species; and taxa number. Each parameter was scaled based on data distributions from a statewide database, and scaled values were totaled for the AMCI value, AMCI values were grouped and tested by ecoregion and lake type (natural lakes and impoundments) to define quality on a regional basis. This analysis suggested that aquatic plant communities are divided into four groups: (1) Northern Lakes and Forests lakes and impoundments, (2) North-Central Hardwood Forests lakes and impoundments, (3) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains lakes, and (4) Southeastern Wisconsin Till Plains impoundments, Driftless Area Lakes, and Mississippi River Backwater lakes. AMCI values decline from group 1 to group 4 and reflect general water quality and human use trends in Wisconsin. The upper quartile of AMCI values in any region are the highest quality or benchmark plant communities. The interquartile range consists of normally impacted communities for the region and the lower quartile contains severely impacted or degraded plant communities. When AMCI values were applied to case studies, the values reflected known impacts to the lakes. However, quality criteria cannot be used uncritically, especially in lakes that initially have low nutrient levels.In Wisconsin, the Aquatic Macrophyte Community Index (AMCI) was developed and used to define the quality of aquatic macrophyte communities in northern Wisconsin flowages. In this study, the AMCI concept was expanded to lakes and impoundments on a statewide basis. The parameters selected were the maximum depth of plant growth, percentage of littoral area vegetated, Simpson's diversity index, relative frequen

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
A proposed aquatic plant community biotic index for Wisconsin lakes
Series title:
Environmental Management
DOI:
10.1007/s002670010107
Volume
26
Issue:
5
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer-Verlag New York
Publisher location:
New York, NY, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
491
Last page:
502
Number of Pages:
12