Temporal changes in spatial patterns of submersed macrophytes in two impounded reaches of the Upper Mississippi River, USA, 1998-2009
De Jager, Nathan R.; Yin, Yao
We examined temporal changes in spatial patterns of submersed aquatic macrophytes during a recent three-fold increase in macrophyte abundance and in response to the cumulative effects of management actions (island construction and water level management) and changes in regional environmental conditions (turbidity) in two navigation pools of the Upper Mississippi River, Pool 8 (managed) and Pool 13 (unmanaged). We used cross-correlograms to quantify changes in the degree and range of spatial correlation between submersed macrophytes and depth across the impounded portions of the two pools from 1998-2009. Along with increases in abundance, we observed gradual expansion of submersed macrophytes into deeper water in both pools. However, we detected no temporal change in spatial patterns in Pool 13, where the range of spatial correlation was ∼ 1500-2500 m in length in the downriver direction and ∼ 500-1000 m in length in the crossriver direction. We initially detected similar ranges of spatial correlation in Pool 8, but over time the range of correlation in the cross river direction increased from ∼ 500 m in 1998 to ∼ 2000 m by 2009. Thus, the expansion of submersed macrophytes into deeper water areas in Pool 8 appears to have occurred in the cross-river direction and led to increases in patch size and a more symmetrical patch configuration. Hence, very similar temporal changes in submersed macrophyte abundance corresponded with different diffusion dynamics and spatial patterns in the two pools. We hypothesize that management actions altered spatial patterns of depth, water flow and/or wind fetch and led to the differences in spatial patterns reported here.