The water clarity of Polish lakes with charophyte vegetation in the years 1953-1968

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Abstract

A total of 313 lakes with charophyte vegetation were identified based on the data presented in 1111 manuscripts under the shared title of “Assumptions for the fisheries management project in Lake (lake name)”, based on the results of an environmental inventory carried out by the Inland Fisheries Institute in 1953-1968. The lakes’ morphological characteristics were described, hydrophyte species that most frequently accompanied charophytes were identified, differences in summer water transparency were analyzed in 281 lakes with charophyte vegetation and the results were compared with the observations made in 657 other lakes, and the potential trophic state of lakes with charophyte vegetation was determined using Carlson’s trophic state index (1996). More than half (54%) of 171 dimictic lakes with charophyte vegetation were classified as mesotrophic and 31% as oligotrophic, whereas 50% of 110 polymictic lakes were classified as eutrophic, and 40% as mesotrophic. The frequency of taxa that contribute to the eutrophication (degradation) of water bodies, including Ceratophyllum spp. Myriophyllum spp. and Elodea canadensis, increased with a decrease in the percentage of charophytes in communities of submerged hydrophytes. Regardless of the proportion of charophytes in submerged hydrophyte communities, water in the lakes colonized by charophytes was more transparent than in the 659 lakes without charophytes. Water in many polymictic and dimictic lakes with charophyte vegetation, including lakes with a small contribution of charophytes, was more transparent than in lakes without charophytes, which suggests that charophytes are sensitive indicators of water quality and are components of ecological memory in aquatic ecosystems.

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