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Open AccessArticle

Species-Specific Responses of Submerged Macrophytes to Simulated Extreme Precipitation: A Mesocosm Study

by Yu Cao 1, Yongwei Zhi 1,2, Erik Jeppesen 3,4 and Wei Li 5,*
1
Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Sino-Danish Centre for Education and Research (SDC), Beijing 100049, China
4
Lake Ecology Section, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
5
Hubei Key Laboratory of Wetland Evolution & Ecological Restoration, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061160
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 29 May 2019 / Accepted: 30 May 2019 / Published: 2 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Extreme Climate Events on Lake Ecosystems)
More frequent extreme climate events (e.g., extreme precipitation) are to be expected in the future, and such events may potentially have significant effects on freshwater ecosystems. In the present mesocosm study, the effects of simulated extreme precipitation on submerged macrophytes were evaluated for three different macrophyte community (MC) treatments (MC1, MC2 and MC3). MC1 consisted of only Vallisneria denseserrulata, while MC2 and MC3 included three and six species of various growth forms. Two treatments of extreme precipitation (EP) were simulated—an extreme treatment (E) simulating a sudden increase of water level from 75 cm to 150 cm within one day and a gradual treatment (G) simulating an increase to the same water level within 3 months, combined with two control treatments. Total macrophyte community biomass was resilient to the EP and MC treatments, while species-specific variations in responses, in terms of biomass, maximum height, and sexual reproduction, were found. For instance, E led to earlier flowering of Potamogeton lucens and production of more flowers, while it had adverse effects on the flowering of Ottelia alismoides. We conclude that freshwater ecosystems with high coverage of submerged macrophytes may be overall resilient to extreme precipitation under nutrient-limited conditions, especially communities with diverse growth forms. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Vallisneria; Ottelia; Potamogeton; charophyte; Radix swinhoei climate change; Vallisneria; Ottelia; Potamogeton; charophyte; Radix swinhoei
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Cao, Y.; Zhi, Y.; Jeppesen, E.; Li, W. Species-Specific Responses of Submerged Macrophytes to Simulated Extreme Precipitation: A Mesocosm Study. Water 2019, 11, 1160.

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