The removal of Elodea nuttallii (Planch.) and effects on macro-invertebrates communities

Topic: Ecology, Biology, Macro-invertebrates

Description: Submerged aquatic macrophytes can promote ecosystem functioning and provide ecosystem services. However, they can also cause problems if large abundance of a single species (nuisance species) outcompetes other species. Besides the previous, nuisance species can also cause adverse effects on recreational activities. In Lake Baldeneye (Baldeneysee), located in Essen, the growth of the nuisance species Elodea nuttallii (Planch.) (Schmalblättrige Wasserpest) hampers boating activities and can supress the occurrence of other species.

The Ruhrverband (managing water authority) has therefore decided to try and reduce the growth of this species by different removal techniques; and in some cases will try to replace E. nuttallii with another non-vascular plant species. Yet, the effects of the removal on and macro-invertebrates communities are unknown. Hence, it is known that the diversity and community of macro-invertebrates at locations where macrophytes occur is higher and different then if they were absent. Therefore, it is expected that the diversity and community changes.

To address this question multiple macro-invertebrates samples are taken before and after removal of E. nuttallii and compared with each other and a control where not treatment was performed. The sample periods will be in spring and summer and performed from a boat with an Ekman Grab.

Methods/Data: Fieldwork, Laboratory work (macro-invertebrate identification)

Starting: March, April, May

Contact: Wim Kaijser