The potential for Charophyte re-establishment in large, shallow, eutrophic lakes with special reference to Lake Waikare, New Zealand.
Hopkins, A. (2006). The potential for Charophyte re-establishment in large, shallow, eutrophic lakes with special reference to Lake Waikare, New Zealand. (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2419
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2419
Lake Waikare is a large, shallow eutrophic lake devoid of submerged macrophytes. I investigated potential methods for re-establishing submerged macrophytes in the lake. Specifically, I subjected charophyte (Chara corallina) plantlets to two treatments of exposure in the lake (in areas exposed and sheltered from wind) to test for survival and growth under these conditions, and inside and outside fish exclosures to test for growth and survival in the presence of fish. While plantlets grew outside the exclosures in winter, their accumulated biomass over 21 days was less than protected plantlets. In winter, the accumulated biomass was lower outside than inside exclosures (by ~40%) at the sheltered site and was lower outside than inside exclosures (by 43%) at the exposed site. Overall, growth rates in winter were higher at the sheltered site (compared to the exposed site) by ~7%. In summer, charophyte accumulated biomass inside the exclosures increased by 85%, while at the sheltered site accumulated biomass increased by 58%. Outside the exclosures in summer the plantlets were completely removed at both sites. Overall, growth rates where higher at the exposed site than the sheltered site by 31%. Fish were responsible for the partial removal of plantlets in winter and total removal of plantlets in summer, and therefore affect the survival and growth of charophytes in Lake Waikare. The embayment at the sheltered site provides the best location in winter for re-establishment of charophytes from oospores because better growth rates were obtained there, and its sheltered location provides protection from severe wave action found at the exposed site. Oospores did not germinate after being submersed in the lake for 90 days due to heavy sedimentation. To induce an improvement in the present light climate, Alum was tested to determine its effectiveness and longevity for settling lake sediments to allow charophytes to establish and grow. Examining the settling rates of Lake Waikare sediments and water treated with Alum over a range of suspended sediment concentrations and time intervals, sediments settled faster with Alum than without for at least 15 days (at 200 g l^1 suspended sediment concentration) and it remained active to 60 days but at reduced effectiveness. At the other concentrations tested (100 g l^1 and 300 g l^1 suspended sediment concentration), Alum responses were insignificant. An improved light climate achieved by fish removal or Alum treatment will likely not be sufficient to permit the re-establishment of submerged macrophytes due to the turbid, algal-dominated state of the lake. The present nutrient and sediment levels, wave climate and fish influence must be mitigated so charophyte plantlets can be established.
The University of Waikato
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