Ecology of rare water plant communities in lakes of north-eastern Poland
Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae
Habitat studies were conducted on three rare plant communities dominated by Nuphar pumila, Nymphaea candida and Hydrilla verticillata in lakes of north-eastern Poland. The comparison of habitat properties of these three types of phytocoenoses with those of Nuphar lutea common in the area under study was also performed. It was demonstrated that the plant communities studied were ecologically distinct. The habitats of the phytocoenoses of N. pumila differed most significantly from those of the
... rom those of the other phytocoenoses. They often inhabited softer waters poor in Mg<sup>2+</sup>, dissolved SiO<sub>2</sub>, but rich in total Fe, PO<sub>4</sub><sup>3−</sup>, NO<sub>3</sub><sup>−</sup>, and were associated with acidic substrates containing lower levels of Ca2+ and Na+, but greater amounts of total Fe and NO3−. The differences in the habitats of H. verticillata and N. candida phytocoenoses were most pronounced in the case of four properties of water: Na<sup>+</sup>, K<sup>+</sup>, Cl<sup>−</sup>, and Mg<sup>+</sup>. Their values were lower in waters of the H. verticillata phytocoenoses. The habitats of all the three types of rare phytocoenoses differed considerably from those of N. lutea. The most significant differences were found between the N. lutea and N. pumila phytocoenoses and the smallest differences were between the patches of N. lutea and N. candida. The properties of water were more important in differentiating the habitats of the phytocoenoses studied than the substrate properties. Due to alkalization and increase in water hardness in the lakes studied the stands of N. pumila are among the most threatened. The patches of N. candida and H. verticillata, which occur in waters with a wider range of hardness and tolerating a slight increase in trophy, can still continue to persist in the lakes for a long time.