Effects of Grazing by Fish and Waterfowl on the Biomass and Species Composition of Submerged Macrophytes [chapter]

Ellen Van Donk, Adrie Otte
1996 Management and Ecology of Freshwater Plants  
Biomanipulation improved water transparency of Lake Zwemlust (The Netherlands) drastically. Before biomanipulation no submerged vegetation was present in the lake, but in summer 1987, directly after the measure, submerged macrophyte stands developed following a clear-water phase caused by high zooplankton grazing in spring. During the summers of 1988 and 1989 Elodea nuttallii was the most dominant species and reached a high biomass, but in the summers of 1990 and 1991 Ceratophyllum demersum
more » ... me dominant. The total macrophyte biomass decreased in 1990 and 1991. In 1992 and 1993 C. demersum and E. nuttallii were nearly absent and Potamogeton berchtholdii became the dominant species, declining to very low abundance during late summer. Successively algal blooms appeared in autumn of those years reaching chlorophyll-a concentrations between 60-130 /sg 1-'. However, in experimental cages placed on the lake bottom, serving as exclosures for larger fish and birds, E. nuttallii still reached a high abundance during 1992 and 1993. Herbivory by coots (Fulica atra) in autumn/winter, and by rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) in summer, most probably caused the decrease in total abundance of macrophytes and the shift in species composition.
doi:10.1007/978-94-011-5782-7_45 fatcat:gnbtbse35vd45ipvqxkf7e66h4