Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Spatial and temporal variation in duckweed and filamentous algal levels in contiguous floodplain lakes of the Upper Mississippi River
Gray, Brian R. Andrew M. Ray , James T. Rogala, Mark D. Holland, and Jeffrey N. Houser. 2012. Spatial and temporal variation in duckweed and filamentous algal levels in contiguous floodplain lakes of the Upper Mississippi River. J. Aquat. Plant Manage. 50: 91-100.
This study examined how free-floating macrophyte cover (principally composed of duckweeds [Lemna spp.]) and prevalence of floating filamentous algal mats (metaphyton) varied within and among lakes within three reaches of the Upper Mississippi River. Data were collected using standard sampling approaches over the period 1998 to 2008. Duckweed cover varied primarily within and among lakes; in comparison filamentous algae prevalence varied primarily among lakes and lake-years. Duckweed cover increased with submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) abundance at within lake and among-lake-year scales; in comparison, filamentous algae prevalence increased with SAV abundance at within lake, among-lake and year scales. Given adjustment for SAV, filamentous algae prevalence decreased with increasing lake connectivity but was not statistically associated with annual changes in mean river discharge; duckweed cover was not associated with either connectivity or discharge. Documenting the relatively high levels of variation within lakes and of year to-year variation in lake means improves our understanding of the dynamic nature of aquatic plant and algal communities in the Upper Mississippi River and will assist efforts to manage or control aquatic plants and nuisance algae in this region. In particular, this work explicitly characterizes sources of variability in free-floating macrophyte cover and filamentous algae prevalence, and highlights how this variation may complicate efforts to evaluate the short-term success of management and control efforts.
free-floating aquatic macrophytes, Lemnaceae, metaphyton, submersed aquatic vegetation, variance components