eMonocot Cyperaceae

an authoritative resource for Cyperaceae data worldwide, integrating global and regional perspectives

The effect of experimental inundation and sediment deposition on the survival and growth of two herbaceous riverbank plant species

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2010
Authors:Lowe, B. J., Watts, R. J., Roberts, J., Robertson A.
Journal:Plant Ecology
Keywords:adaptations, burial, DYNAMICS, experimental burial, flooding, floodplain river, floodplains, lowland river, MACROPHYTES, regulated rivers, riparian, riparian vegetation, submergence, TOLERANCE, water

Flow and sediment regimes of floodplain rivers around the world have been changed by river regulation and land management, altering the ecological processes structuring riparian plant communities. However, the combined effects of inundation and sedimentation processes on riparian plant survival and growth are poorly understood. The separate and interactive effects of inundation duration and sedimentation depth on survival, growth and vegetative reproduction of two herbaceous clonal river bank plant species, Carex bichenoviana and Calotis scapigera, were investigated in an outdoor laboratory experiment. Plants were grown under three levels of sediment addition and two levels of inundation duration and were harvested after 60 days. Both species survived up to 30 days inundation in the absence of sediment. Growth and vegetative reproduction were increased for C. scapigera, but reduced for C. bichenoviana. Sediment deposition during periods of inundation reduced survival of both species, with C. scapigera unable to survive. Carex bichenoviana survived, but as inundation duration and depth of sediment increased, growth and vegetative reproduction were reduced. Our results indicate sediment deposition during flooding can change the tolerance of riparian plant species to inundation, reducing survival and growth.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith