Regeneration and colonization of aquatic plant fragments in relation to the disturbance frequency of their habitats
Barrat-Segretain, Marie-Hélène; Henry, Christophe P.; Bornette, Gudrun
published: May 3, 1999
ArtNo. ESP141014501001, Price: 29.00 €
The regeneration (regrowth into viable plants) and colonization (establishment in the sediment) abilities of vegetative fragments of 16 aquatic plant species occurring in habitats with different disturbance frequencies were compared through a laboratory experiment. The hypothesis was that plants occurring in habitats frequently disturbed by floods should have higher regeneration and colonization abilities than plants in rarely disturbed habitats. Four types of fragments were collected from the plants and their regrowth and/or rooting into the sediment were recorded over 10 weeks. Numerous species exhibited a trade-off between their regeneration and colonization abilities (e.g. Sparganium emersum, Luronium natans), others presented fragments with high abilities in both fields (e.g. Myriophyllum spicatum, Potamogeton coloratus), and others showed fragments with low abilities in both fields (e.g. Utricularia vulgaris, Potamogeton lucens). The characteristics of two species (Potamogeton coloratus, Ceratophyllum demersum) did not fit in very well with the hypothesis, but this could be explained by their competitive abilities and ecological amplitude. Most species from habitats rarely disturbed by floods presented low regeneration and colonization abilities. As predicted, species from habitats with high or intermediate disturbance frequencies presented at least one of the two tactics, and this could be related to their adaptation strategies in withstanding disturbance events.