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Can small water level fluctuations affect the biomass of Nymphaea alba in large lakes?
Paillisson, J.-M.; Marion, L. (2006). Can small water level fluctuations affect the biomass of Nymphaea alba in large lakes? Aquat. Bot. 84(3): 259-266. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquabot.2005.10.004
In: Aquatic Botany. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0304-3770, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Biomass; Floating; Leaves; Management; Water levels; Nymphaea alba; France, Pays de Loire, Grand-Lieu L. [Marine Regions]; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • Paillisson, J.-M.
  • Marion, L.

Abstract
    In this study we investigated above-ground biomass and morphological responses of a floating-leaved plant species, Nymphaea alba, to small spring water level manipulations (0.1–0.5 m) in a large, shallow lake over a 9-year period (1995–2003). A year effect was found in mean annual above-ground plant biomass with higher values found in years of low water levels, 275–339 g DW m−2 in 1995 and 2003 against 143–198 g DW m−2 in 1996–2002 (no data transformation). No significant changes in biomass patterns were observed within each season (one summer peak), except in 1995 when a summer decline in biomass occurred. The amplitude and duration of exposure to high water levels affected the spring and annual above ground biomass of N. alba. The plant responded to high spring water levels by producing longer and thinner petioles to preserve leaves from flooding while no significant changes in leaf surface area (except in May) and leaf/petiole biomass ratio were obtained. The results are interpreted with regard to plant adaptations to changing environments (biomass allocation patterns in the different plant organs and stem density) and the effects of other abiotic factors relevant to the size of the system. We concluded that small deviations in spring water level can be driving forces in a large system in controlling the above-ground biomass of this floating-leaved plant.

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