Original paper

Effect of environmental variables on the aquatic macrophyte composition pattern in streams: a case study from Slovakia

Hrivnák, Richard; Ot'ahel'ová, Helena; Valachovič, Milan; Pal'ove-Balang, Peter; Kubinská, Anna


The relationships between macrophyte assemblage composition and environmental variables were assessed across 39 Slovak streams in the Pannonicum and Carpathicum bioregions. Twenty-one environmental variables including geographical characteristics, hydrology, physical habitat, water chemistry, and anthropogenic stressors were assessed. A total of 89 macrophyte taxa were identified, of which 26 % and 74 % were bryophytes and vascular plants, respectively. Significant differences were observed between the Pannonicum and the Carpathicum bioregions for all studied environmental variables except the following: stream width, the presence of human-made sediment and the phosphate content. Similarly, the number of species as well as the Mean Mass Total of all plant groups was significantly different between the Pannonicum and the Carpathicum regions except for filamentous algae. Macrophyte composition in Slovak streams was affected by sediment type (5.8 %), followed by shading of shrubs and trees on the banks (3.5 %), water depth (3.0 %), NO2- (2.8 %) and water acidity (2.2 %). Bryophytes (such as Brachythecium rivulare, Cratoneuron filicinum, Hygrohypnum ochraceum, Lophocolea heterophylla, Marchantia polymorpha or Rhynchostegium riparioides) and only some vascular plants (such as Persicaria hydropiper and Glyceria notata) occur on coarser sediment types. In contrast, most vascular plants grew on finer sediment types.


aquatic plantsspecies-environment relationshiprunning waterbioregions