Managed water levels and the expansion of emergent vegetation along a lakeshore

H. Coops, J.T. Vulink, E.H. van Nes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Water-level fluctuations may be used to promote the expansion of emergent vegetation along lakeshores. The authors present the case of the lake Volkerak-Zoommeer in the Netherlands, a freshwater lake created in 1987 after the enclosure of an estuary. Using an experimental area in which the water level could be manipulated, it was shown that partial summer drawdown of the shoreline created suitable conditions for germination and growth of tall emergent species (in particular Phragmites australis). Plant survival and growth depended on subsequent water-level fluctuations and grazing by waterbirds. Based on the experiment and empincai data, a model was developed to predict the effects of the water-level regime on potential reed bed development. The model was applied for four hydrological scenarios that have been considered for the water-level management of the lake
Water-level fluctuations may be used to promote the expansion of emergent vegetation along lakeshores. We present the case of the lake Volkerak-Zoommeer in the Netherlands, a freshwater lake created in 1987 after the enclosure of an estuary. Using an experimental area in which the water level could be manipulated, it was shown that partial summer drawdown of the shoreline created suitable conditions for germination and growth of tall emergent species (in particular Phragmites australis). Plant survival and growth depended on subsequent water-level fluctuations and grazing by waterbirds. Based on the experiment and empirical data, a model was developed to predict the effects of the water-level regime on potential reed bed development. The model was applied for four hydrological scenarios that have been considered for the water-level management of the lake.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
JournalLimnologica
Volume34
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • vegetation
  • lakes
  • phragmites australis
  • water management
  • fluctuations
  • models
  • netherlands
  • water level
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • volkerak-zoommeer
  • phragmites-australis
  • growth
  • responses
  • drawdown
  • dynamics
  • wetlands
  • marsh

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