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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 565; doi:10.3390/su9040565

Invasive Eichhornia crassipes Affects the Capacity of Submerged Macrophytes to Utilize Nutrients

1,2,3
,
1,2,3
,
1,2
,
4
and
1,2,3,*
1
Institute of Wetland Research, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
2
Beijing Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecological Function and Restoration, Beijing 100091, China
3
Beijing Hanshiqiao National Wetland Ecosystem Research Station, Beijing 101309, China
4
Survey and Planning Institute of State Forestry Administration, Beijing 100714, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lalit Kumar and Onisimo Mutanga
Received: 2 March 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3160 KB, uploaded 9 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Invasion by free-floating species, such as Eichhornia crassipes, is one of the most critical threats to the biodiversity and sustainability of wetland ecosystems, where all plants experience spatial heterogeneity in substrate nutrients. However, few studies have focused on the effects of free-floating invaders on the capacity of submerged plants to utilize substrate nutrients. A 10-week greenhouse experiment was conducted to test the effects of free-floating invasive E. crassipes (presence or absence) on the growth of Ceratophyllum demersum and Myriophyllum spicatum, and their capacity to use heterogeneous and homogeneous substrate nutrients. We found that the invasion of E. crassipes could significantly decrease the growth of both submerged C. demersum and M. spicatum and that substrate nutrient heterogeneity increased the growth of C. demersum (approximately 30% in total biomass and 40% in the number of nodes) but not of M. spicatum. The two submerged species have different strategies to address invasion by E. crassipes. These results indicate that E. crassipes can prevent the growth of submerged plants even if the submerged plants can effectively use heterogeneous nutrients. For the effective conservation of submerged macrophytes in wetlands, measures should be taken to restrict the spread of invasive free-floating species. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiversity; sustainability; biological invasion; wetland ecology; resource heterogeneity; water; Ceratophyllum demersum; Myriophyllum spicatum biodiversity; sustainability; biological invasion; wetland ecology; resource heterogeneity; water; Ceratophyllum demersum; Myriophyllum spicatum
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhou, J.; Pan, X.; Xu, H.; Wang, Q.; Cui, L. Invasive Eichhornia crassipes Affects the Capacity of Submerged Macrophytes to Utilize Nutrients. Sustainability 2017, 9, 565.

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