Ann. Limnol. - Int. J. Lim.
Volume 47, Number 3, 2011
|Page(s)||281 - 295|
|Published online||04 July 2011|
Aquatic vegetation as an indicator of littoral habitats and various stages of lake aging in north-eastern Poland
Department of Plant Ecology and Environmental Conservation, University of Warsaw, Al. Ujazdowskie 4, 00-478, Warsaw, Poland
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 28 February 2011
The habitats of 356 phytocoenoses dominated by 15 species of aquatic plants were investigated. Among the properties of water, Na+, pH, total Fe, Ca2+, NO3−, SO42−, hardness and COD-KMnO4 were the most important in differentiating the habitats of the phytocoenoses studied. Considerable physicochemical differences were found between the waters of the phytocoenoses of Ranunculus circinatus (hard waters rich in Na+), Nuphar pumila (soft waters with high levels of total Fe), Elodea canadensis, Ceratophyllum demersum (alkaline waters) and Stratiotes aloides (waters containing high concentrations of Ca2+ and SO42−). The substrate properties that best differentiated the habitats compared were PO43−, hydration, organic matter content, total N, dissolved SiO2, Ca2+, Na+ and pH. Patches of R. circinatus inhabited substrates containing the highest levels of PO43−. Those of S. aloides were associated with substrates poor in PO43−. Patches of C. demersum were confined to substrates rich in total N. Phytocoenoses of R. circinatus were associated with large lakes, whereas those of N. pumila were restricted mostly to smaller lakes. The deepest parts of lakes were inhabited by Potamogeton lucens. Phytocoenoses of S. aloides occurred mostly in shallow waters, on thick sediments. The investigated phytocoenoses also represent different stages of succession. The phytocoenoses of Potamogeton perfoliatus, R. circinatus, Myriophyllum spicatum and Polygonum amphibium, which develop on mineral substrates, initiate the process of succession, whereas those of Myriophyllum verticillatum, Nymphaea candida, Nymphaea alba, N. pumila and S. aloides, which inhabit highly hydrated organic substrates, are characteristic of the late stages of succession.
Key words: Submerged and floating-leaved phytocoenoses / habitat indicators / water and substrate analyses / process of succession / Water Framework Directive
© EDP Sciences, 2011
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