; Environmental Sciences
; Water Resources
; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
; Water Resources
Eutrophication of lakes leading to loss of submersed macrophytes and higher turbidity is a worldwide phenomenon, attributed to excessive loading of phosphorus (P). However, recently, the role of nitrogen (N) for macrophyte recession has received increasing attention. Due to the close relationship between N and P loading, disentanglement of the specific effects of these two nutrients is often difficult, and some controversy still exists as to the effects of N. We studied the effects of N on submersed macrophytes represented by Vallisneria natans (Lour.) Hara in pots positioned at three depths (0.4 m, 0.8 m, and 1.2 m to form a gradient of underwater light conditions) in 10 large ponds having moderate concentrations of P (TP 0.03 +/- 0.04 mg L-1) and five targeted concentrations of total nitrogen (TN) (0.5, 2, 10, 20, and 100 mg L-1), there were two ponds for each treatment. To study the potential shading effects of other primary producers, we also measured the biomass of phytoplankton (Chlap(hyt)) and periphyton (Chla(peri)) expressed as chlorophyll a. We found that leaf length, leaf mass, and root length of macrophytes declined with increasing concentrations of TN and ammonium, while shoot number and root mass did not. All the measured growth indices of macrophytes declined significantly with Chla(phyt), while none were significantly related to Chla(peri). Neither Chla(phyt) nor Chlaped were, however, significantly negatively related to the various N concentrations. Our results indicate that shading by phytoplankton unrelated to the variation in N loading and perhaps toxic stress exerted by high nitrogen were responsible for the decline in macrophyte growth. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China 2.Univ Chinese Acad Sci, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China 3.Huazhong Agr Univ, Wuhan 430070, Peoples R China 4.Aarhus Univ, Dept Biosci, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark 5.Aarhus Univ, Arctic Res Ctr, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark 6.Sino Danish Ctr Educ & Res SDC, Beijing, Peoples R China