Changes of Potamogeton pectinatus clumps under variable, artificially flooded river water regimes

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Potamogeton pectinatus L. is a submerged angiosperm with a cosmopolitan distribution, considered as a troublesome aquatic weed. It is prevalent in standing waters, withstands fast currents and can occur in powered sections downstream from high hydroelectric dams. An increase of regulated flow from 0.1 to 0.8 m3 s−1 was performed at the hydroelectric dam of Rabodanges (Normandy, France) for restoration ecology purposes, e.g. the rehabilitation of salmonids in the short-cut section. In order to assess the effect of this operational management of the hydroelectric dam, a macrophyte-based survey was done. Particular attention was paid to monotypic stands of P. pectinatus in the downstream channel of the dam since 1986. Continuous hydraulic and physicochemical data allowed the estimation of their effect on the stands of P. pectinatus. The importance of the changes of clumps of P. pectinatus at the level of the river Orne around the reservoir was compared to other macrophytes with a similar extend capacity: Cladophora sp. and Myriophyllum spicatum. P. pectinatus and M. spicatum showed a similar strategy. At a local scale, in a restitution channel, the variation of P. pectinatus cover was recorded in the context of the changing regulated regimes. After a decrease of the cover of clumps there was a progressive recovery to the initial stands cover. With observations over a twelve-year period, we confirmed the ecological plasticity of this plant in powered channels and highlighted the importance of long term survey in river restoration ecology.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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  • The Belgian Journal of Botany (now known as Plant Ecology and Evolution) is an international journal open to all fields of plant sciences. Please note, however, that papers restricted to purely nomenclatural matters or to floristical data of only local interest will not be accepted. The Journal appears in one volume of two issues per year. It publishes reviews, original research papers, short notes, letters to the editor, and book reviews. Click here for current issues of this journal
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