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Martin Søndergaard

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

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DOI

  • Sabine Hilt, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • Marta M. Alirangues Nunez, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • Elisabeth S. Bakker, Netherlands Inst Ecol NIOO KNAW, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Dept Aquat Ecol
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  • Irmgard Blindow, Ernst Moritz Arndt Univ Greifswald, Ernst Moritz Arndt Universitat Greifswald, Biol Stn Hiddensee
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  • Thomas A. Davidson
  • Mikael Gillefalk, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • Lars-Anders Hansson, Lund University
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  • Jan H. Janse, PBL Netherlands Environm Assessment Agcy
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  • Annette B. G. Janssen, Wageningen Univ & Res, Wageningen University & Research, Water Syst & Global Change Grp
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  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Timm Kabus, Inst Appl Freshwater Ecol
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  • Andrea Kelly, Broads Author
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  • Jan Koehler, Leibniz Inst Freshwater Ecol & Inland Fisheries, Leibniz Institut fur Gewasserokologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB), Dept Ecosyst Res
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  • Torben L. Lauridsen
  • Wolf M. Mooij, Wageningen Univ & Res, Wageningen University & Research, Dept Aquat Ecol & Water Qual Management
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  • Ruurd Noordhuis, Deltares
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  • Geoff Phillips, Univ Stirling, University of Stirling, Biol & Environm Sci
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  • Jacqueline Ruecker, Brandenburg Univ Technol Cottbus Senftenberg, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Dept Freshwater Conservat
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  • Hans-Heinrich Schuster, Niedersachs Landesbetrieb Wasserwirtschaft Kusten
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  • Martin Sondergaard
  • Sven Teurlincx, Netherlands Inst Ecol NIOO KNAW, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Dept Aquat Ecol
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  • Klaus van de Weyer, Lanaplan
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  • Ellen van Donk, Netherlands Inst Ecol NIOO KNAW, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Dept Aquat Ecol
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  • Arno Waterstraat, Gesell Nat Schutz & Landschaftsokol
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  • Nigel Willby
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  • Carl D. Sayer, UCL, University College London, University of London, Dept Geog, Environm Change Res Ctr

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Volume9
Number of pages24
ISSN1664-462X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • 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

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