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Response of Submerged Macrophyte Communities to External and Internal Restoration Measures in North Temperate Shallow Lakes

Hilt, S; Nunez, MMA; Bakker, ES; Blindow, I; Davidson, TA; Gillefalk, M; Hansson, L-A; ... Sayer, CD; + view all (2018) Response of Submerged Macrophyte Communities to External and Internal Restoration Measures in North Temperate Shallow Lakes. Frontiers in Plant Science , 9 , Article 194. 10.3389/fpls.2018.00194. Green open access

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Abstract

Submerged macrophytes play a key role in north temperate shallow lakes by stabilizing clear-water conditions. Eutrophication has resulted in macrophyte loss and shifts to turbid conditions in many lakes. Considerable efforts have been devoted to shallow lake restoration in many countries, but long-term success depends on a stable recovery of submerged macrophytes. However, recovery patterns vary widely and remain to be fully understood. We hypothesize that reduced external nutrient loading leads to an intermediate recovery state with clear spring and turbid summer conditions similar to the pattern described for eutrophication. In contrast, lake internal restoration measures can result in transient clear-water conditions both in spring and summer and reversals to turbid conditions. Furthermore, we hypothesize that these contrasting restoration measures result in different macrophyte species composition, with added implications for seasonal dynamics due to differences in plant traits. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed data on water quality and submerged macrophytes from 49 north temperate shallow lakes that were in a turbid state and subjected to restoration measures. To study the dynamics of macrophytes during nutrient load reduction, we adapted the ecosystem model PCLake. Our survey and model simulations revealed the existence of an intermediate recovery state upon reduced external nutrient loading, characterized by spring clear-water phases and turbid summers, whereas internal lake restoration measures often resulted in clear-water conditions in spring and summer with returns to turbid conditions after some years. External and internal lake restoration measures resulted in different macrophyte communities. The intermediate recovery state following reduced nutrient loading is characterized by a few macrophyte species (mainly pondweeds) that can resist wave action allowing survival in shallow areas, germinate early in spring, have energy-rich vegetative propagules facilitating rapid initial growth and that can complete their life cycle by early summer. Later in the growing season these plants are, according to our simulations, outcompeted by periphyton, leading to late-summer phytoplankton blooms. Internal lake restoration measures often coincide with a rapid but transient colonization by hornworts, waterweeds or charophytes. Stable clear-water conditions and a diverse macrophyte flora only occurred decades after external nutrient load reduction or when measures were combined.

Type: Article
Title: Response of Submerged Macrophyte Communities to External and Internal Restoration Measures in North Temperate Shallow Lakes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00194
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.00194
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Hilt, Alirangues Nuñez, Bakker, Blindow, Davidson, Gillefalk, Hansson, Janse, Janssen, Jeppesen, Kabus, Kelly, Köhler, Lauridsen, Mooij, Noordhuis, Phillips, Rücker, Schuster, Søndergaard, Teurlincx, van de Weyer, van Donk, Waterstraat, Willby and Sayer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Plant Sciences, aquatic plants, biomanipulation, eutrophication, lake restoration. nutrient load reduction, PCLake, plant traits, regime shift, POTAMOGETON-PECTINATUS L, ECOSYSTEM MODEL PCLAKE, OF-THE-ART, LONG-TERM, EUTROPHIC LAKES, AQUATIC MACROPHYTES, REGIME SHIFTS, RESOURCE-ALLOCATION, SEASONAL DYNAMICS, ZANNICHELLIA TAXA
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045409
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