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Investigations of the availability and survival of submersed aquatic vegetation propagules in the tidal Potomac River

Rybicki, Nancy B.; McFarland, Dwilette G.; Ruhl, Henry A.; Reel, Justin T.; Barko, John W.. 2001 Investigations of the availability and survival of submersed aquatic vegetation propagules in the tidal Potomac River. Estuaries, 24 (3). 407-424. 10.2307/1353242

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Abstract/Summary

The establishment of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) at unvegetated sites in the freshwater tidal Potomac River was limited primarily by factors other than propagule availability. For two years, traps were used to quantify the amount of plant material reaching three unvegetated sites over the growing season. The calculated flux values provided a gross estimate of the flux of propagules that could potentially survive if other site factors were suitable. The mean flux ofHydrilla verticillata and all other species (≥0.01 gdw m−2 d−1) appeared sufficient to favor the establishment of vegetation, particularly considering the high viability (70–100%) of whole plants and fragments under controlled conditions. However, median water clarity values (i.e., for light attenuation, Secchi depth, total suspended solids, and chlorophylla) were below SAV restoration goals at all unvegetated sites. Additionally, sediments from unvegetated sites showed a potential for nitrogen limitation of the growth ofH. verticillata. Our findings support the hypothesis that in the tidal Potomac River, water clarity and nutrient (especially nitrogen) levels in sediment are key to plant community establishment.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.2307/1353242
ISSN: 0160-8347
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Actually deposited by J. Conquer
Related URLs:
Date made live: 23 Dec 2009 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/171806

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