Groundwater input affecting plant distribution by controlling ammonium and iron availability

Authors: Lucassen, Esther C.H.E.T.; Smolders, Alfons J.P.; Boedeltje, Ger; van den Munckhof, Piet J.J.; Roelofs, Jan G.M.

Source: Journal of Vegetation Science, Volume 17, Number 4, August 2006 , pp. 425-434(10)

Publisher: Opulus Press

Buy & download fulltext article:

OR

Price: $28.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Question: How does groundwater input affect plant distribution in Alnus glutinosa (black alder) carrs?

Location: Alder carrs along the river Meuse, SE Netherlands.

Methods: Three types of site, characterized by groundwater flow, were sampled in 17 A. glutinos a carrs. Vegetation and abiotic data (soil and water chemistry) were collected and analysed using a Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Based on the results, a laboratory experiment tested the effect of groundwater input (Ca2+) on pore water chemistry (NH4+ availability).

Results: Environmental factors indicating groundwater input (Ca2+ and Fe2+), correlating with the NH4+ concentration in the pore water, best explained the variation in plant distribution. NH4+ availability was determined by Ca2+ input via the groundwater and subsequent competition for exchange sites in the sediment. As a result, nutrient-poor seepage locations fully fed by groundwater were dominated by small iron resistant plants such as Caltha palustris and Equisetum fluviatile. More nutrient-rich locations, fed by a combination of groundwater and surface water, allowed the growth of taller iron resistant plant species such as Carex paniculata. Nutrient-rich locations with stagnating surface water were hardly fed by groundwater, allowing the occurrence of fast growing and less iron tolerant wetland grasses such as Glyceria fluitans and G. maxima.

Conclusion: Groundwater input affects plant composition in A. glutinosa carrs along the river Meuse by determining nutrient availability (ammonium) and concentrations of toxic iron.

Keywords: CALCIUM; CATION EXCHANGE; FEN; IRON TOXICITY; METAL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

More about this publication?
Related content

Tools

Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page