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Thresholds in the response of free-floating plant abundance to variation in hydraulic connectivity, nutrients, and macrophyte abundance in a large floodplain river

Wetlands

By:
, , , , ,
DOI: 10.1007/s13157-013-0508-8

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Abstract

Duckweed and other free-floating plants (FFP) can form dense surface mats that affect ecosystem condition and processes, and can impair public use of aquatic resources. FFP obtain their nutrients from the water column, and the formation of dense FFP mats can be a consequence and indicator of river eutrophication. We conducted two complementary surveys of diverse aquatic areas of the Upper Mississippi River as an in situ approach for estimating thresholds in the response of FFP abundance to nutrient concentration and physical conditions in a large, floodplain river. Local regression analysis was used to estimate thresholds in the relations between FFP abundance and phosphorus (P) concentration (0.167 mg l−1L), nitrogen (N) concentration (0.808 mg l−1), water velocity (0.095 m s−1), and aquatic macrophyte abundance (65 % cover). FFP tissue concentrations suggested P limitation was more likely in spring, N limitation was more likely in late summer, and N limitation was most likely in backwaters with minimal hydraulic connection to the channel. The thresholds estimated here, along with observed patterns in nutrient limitation, provide river scientists and managers with criteria to consider when attempting to modify FFP abundance in off-channel areas of large river systems.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Thresholds in the response of free-floating plant abundance to variation in hydraulic connectivity, nutrients, and macrophyte abundance in a large floodplain river
Series title:
Wetlands
DOI:
10.1007/s13157-013-0508-8
Volume
34
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Contributing office(s):
Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description:
13 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Wetlands
First page:
413
Last page:
425
Number of Pages:
13
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Upper Mississippi River