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Water 2016, 8(12), 563; doi:10.3390/w8120563

Response of Vallisneria natans to Increasing Nitrogen Loading Depends on Sediment Nutrient Characteristics

1
State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 73 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China
2
Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC), University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Key Laboratory of Genetic Breeding and Aquaculture Biology of Freshwater Fishes, Ministry of Agriculture, Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Wuxi 214081, China
4
School of Environmental and Civil Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
5
Department of Bioscience and Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
6
College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Benoit Demars
Received: 4 September 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lake Restoration and Management in a Climate Change Perspective)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1116 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

High nitrogen (N) loading may contribute to recession of submerged macrophytes in shallow lakes; yet, its influences vary depending on environmental conditions. In August 2013, we conducted a 28-day factorial-designed field mesocosm experiment in Lake Taihu at the Taihu Laboratory for Lake Ecosystem Research (TLLER) to examine the effects of high N loading on the growth of Vallisneria natans in systems with contrasting sediment types. We ran the experiments with two levels of nutrient loading—present-day external nutrient loading (average P: 5 μg·L−1·day−1, N: 130 μg·L−1·day−1) and P: 5 μg·L−1·day−1, and with three times higher N loading (N: 390 μg·L−1·day−1) and used sediment with two contrasting nutrient levels. V. natans growth decreased significantly with increasing N loading, the effect being dependent, however, on the nutrient status of the sediment. In low nutrient sediment, relative growth rates, leaf biomass and root biomass decreased by 11.9%, 18.2% and 23.3%, respectively, at high rather than low N loading, while the decline was larger (44.0%, 32.7% and 41.8%, respectively) when using high nutrient sediment. The larger effect in the nutrient-rich sediment may reflect an observed higher shading of phytoplankton and excess nutrient accumulation in plant tissue, though potential toxic effects of the high-nutrient sediment may also have contributed. Our study confirms the occurrence of a negative effect of increasing N loading on submerged plant growth in shallow nutrient-enriched lakes and further shows that this effect is augmented when the plants grow in nutrient-rich sediment. External N control may, therefore, help to protect or restore submerged macrophytes, especially when the sediment is enriched with nutrients and organic matter. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen loading; sediments; Vallisneria natans; growth nitrogen loading; sediments; Vallisneria natans; growth
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Gu, J.; Xu, Z.; Jin, H.; Ning, X.; He, H.; Yu, J.; Jeppesen, E.; Li, K. Response of Vallisneria natans to Increasing Nitrogen Loading Depends on Sediment Nutrient Characteristics. Water 2016, 8, 563.

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