Original Articles

AQUATIC MACROPHYTE COMMUNITIES OF THE WILDERNESS LAKES: COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND ASSOCIATED ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS


Abstract

The structure and summer biomass (g m−2 dry mass) of the principal aquatic macrophyte communities of the Wilderness Lakes were measured. Both emergent and submerged communities were included in the study. Productivity estimates were made by multiplying biomass by production/biomass ratios for each species. Salinity gradients in the system are described and details of the different sediment types associated with the macrophytes are given. There was considerable variation in production rates between the different water bodies often coinciding with a salinity gradient. However, rapid, natural changes in the communities are described which also influence production rates in a given water body. Production rates (g dry mass m−2 a−1) were of the order: Typha latifolia > Phragmites australis > Scirpus littoralis > Potamogeton pectinatus > Chara qlobularis > Ruppia cirrhosa. The significance of the macrophyte rates is discussed in relation to Wilderness Lakes area as a whole.

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