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Effects of salinity and inundation regime on growth and distribution of Schoenoplectus triqueter
Deegan, B.; Harrington, T.J.; Dundon, P. (2005). Effects of salinity and inundation regime on growth and distribution of Schoenoplectus triqueter. Aquat. Bot. 81(3): 199-211. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2004.11.006
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Estuaries; Growth; Inundation; Salinity; Spatial distribution; Bolboschoenus maritimus (L.) Palla [WoRMS]; Schoenoplectus triqueter; ANE, Ireland [Marine Regions]; ANE, Ireland, Shannon Estuary [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Deegan, B.
  • Harrington, T.J., correspondent
  • Dundon, P.

Abstract
    In Ireland, Schoenoplectus triqueter is confined to areas in the upper part of the Shannon estuary (Ireland) where average summer soil pore water salinity levels do not exceed 7.0 ppt. Soil-based and nutrient solution-based experiments showed that growth and reproduction of S. triqueter was significantly reduced at salinity of 10 ppt and significantly enhanced at 2.0 ppt compared to a freshwater control. Young plants were less tolerant of salinity than older plants. A transplantation trial showed that S. triqueter could grow at higher salinities in the field but that growth and reproduction were significantly inhibited at higher field salinities. The effect of simulated diurnal tidal inundation on the growth and reproduction of S. triqueter was examined by growing plants in a tank with fluctuating water levels. S. triqueter was able to grow and produce seed when inundated for up to 12 h per 24-h period, indicating a considerable capacity to withstand periodic inundation. Growth responses to simulated tidal inundation were also examined in Bolboschoenus maritimus. Long periods of daily inundation reduced growth of B. maritimus proportionately more than that of S. triqueter. It is concluded that S. triqueter occupies a narrow ecological niche in the Shannon Estuary that is circumscribed by competition from more robust emergent species but is facilitated by the ability of S. triqueter to tolerate lengthy periods of inundation by the tides.

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