|Seasonal growth and reproduction of Ruppia maritima L. s.l. in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, USA|In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Biomass; Growth; Monitoring; Phenology; Reproduction; Restoration; Seasonal variations; Ruppia maritima Linnaeus, 1753 [WoRMS]; ASW, USA, Louisiana, Pontchartrain L. [Marine Regions]; North America [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water
|Authors|| || Top |
- Cho, H.J.
- Poirrier, M.A., correspondent
Ruppia maritima L. s.l. is an important submerged aquatic plant in Lake Pontchartrain, a water quality impaired oligohaline estuary located north of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Efforts to restore Lake Pontchartrain are in progress, and a major restoration goal is the re-establishment of historic submerged macrophyte beds that have declined since first studied in 1953. This study was part of a long-term monitoring program to distinguish natural from anthropogenic causes of macrophyte population changes. Ruppia populations were monitored monthly for a 2-year period to obtain information on seasonal growth, peak biomass periods, flowering, seed production, and germination. We found that Lake Pontchartrain R. maritima had relatively high peak biomass and two seasonal peaks of biomass and flowering due to high water temperature and absence of competition from other macrophytes. However, biomass peaks were often disrupted by storms. Shoot biomass was high from May through November, and low from December through April. Spring shoot growth from seeds, roots, and rhizomes was rapid. Plants matured and produced abundant inflorescences and seeds between May and October. Reproductive shoots bearing seeds were detached in May and June. Remaining shoots formed dense beds through vegetative propagation during the summer. Turion production occurred during the winter.