Assessing and predicting the success of Najas flexilis (Willd.) Rostk. & Schmidt, a rare European aquatic macrophyte, in relation to lake environmental conditions

Wingfield, R. A. and Murphy, Kevin J. and Gaywood, Martin J. (2006) Assessing and predicting the success of Najas flexilis (Willd.) Rostk. & Schmidt, a rare European aquatic macrophyte, in relation to lake environmental conditions. Hydrobiologia, 570 (1). pp. 79-86. ISSN 0018-8158

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Abstract

Najas flexilis (Willd.) Rostk. & Schmidt is a submerged annual macrophyte, rare in Europe, which is protected under the EC Habitats Directive. N. flexilis appears to be decreasing in the British Isles, its main stronghold in Europe. We outline the environmental conditions required for N. flexilis growth, comparing between present and recently extinct sites for the plant. Plant traits (leaf area/shoot length; and reproductive number/shoot length) can be used to assess N. flexilis population success, and models are produced that can predict this. Both the comparison between present and extinct sites, and the models, suggest that eutrophication and acidification of lakes are the main threats to N. flexilis. Acidification appears to reduce the ability of N. flexilis to produce seeds (potentially fatal for an annual). On the other hand, eutrophication leads to conditions where N. flexilis, an obligate carbon dioxide utiliser, cannot photosynthesise due to the predominance of bicarbonate rather than dissolved carbon dioxide in lake water.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The original publication is © Springer and available at http://www.springerlink.com/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Najas flexilis, plant traits, fitness, macrophyte, conservation, lake
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QK Botany
Divisions: School of Engineering > Biology and Environmental Studies
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:51
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2016 10:24
Identification Number: 10.1007/s10750-006-0165-5
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35

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