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Title: Effects of submersed aquatic macrophytes on physical and chemical properties of surrounding water
Authors: Barko, John W.
Godshalk, Gordon Lamar
Rybicki, Nancy B.
Carter, Virginia, Dr.
Keywords: Hydrilla verticillata
Aquatic plants
Environmental effects
Water quality
Potomac River
Washington (D.C.)
Eau Galle (Wis.)
Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (U.S.)
Publisher: U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (U.S.)) ; no.Technical Report A-88-11
Abstract: Studies were conducted to characterize physical and chemical gradients in submersed macrophyte beds located in limnologically contrasting environments -- Eau Galle Reservoir, Wisconsin, and the Potomac River near Washington, DC. Various environmental factors were examined over specific periods at discrete depths to elucidate the effects of aquatic macrophytes on habitat conditions. Submersed aquatic macrophytes had both passive and active roles in influencing the physical and chemical attributes of their environment. Mixing of surface-heated water to lower depths was reduced as macrophytes became more abundant during the growing season. Intense metabolic activity significantly altered profiles of oxygen and pH within macrophyte beds as compared with open waters. In both study areas (Eau Galle Reservoir and Potomac River), depthwise gradients in water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH exhibited strikingly greater variations over daily cycles in macrophyte beds than in adjacent open water. Variability in these parameters was apparently related to macrophyte biomass. Water clarity was considerably greater, while chlorophyll α concentration was significantly lesser in macrophyte beds than in the open water. Current velocity, measured within a particularly dense Hydrilla bed in the Potomac River, was about one third that measured in the open water. From results of these studies it is apparent that submersed macrophytes create distinct physical and chemical conditions that may influence the local distribution of other organisms. The steepening of environmental gradients by submersed macrophytes over both depth and time adds significantly to the complexity of the aquatic habitat.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: Technical Report A-88-11
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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