Phytofauna of eleven macrophyte beds of differing status, depth, and composition

S. Lalonde, J. A. Downing

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Macrophyte beds in 11 lakes of differing trophic conditions were sampled to examine the influence of macrophyte abundance and composition, epiphyton biomass, phytoplankton concentration, and water depth on the abundance of phytophilous invertebrates. Numerical abundance and biomass of phytofaunal taxa were only weakly correlated. Phytofauna biomass ranged from 17-270 mg dry mass.g macrophyte dry mass-1 (1-29g dry mass.m-2) among the macrophyte beds. Total phytofaunal biomass was positively correlated with the biomass of the three primary producers in the littoral zone: macrophytes, epiphyton, and phytoplankton. Phytofauna biomasses in deeper macrophyte beds or near the water surface were lower than those found in shallower water or near the sediment surface. Correlations of phytofauna biomass with macrophytes, epiphyton, and depth varied among phytofaunal taxa. Phytofauna biomass was often dominated by chironomid larvae, but gastropods, water mites, and oligochaetes were also important components. Small crustaceans such as cladocerans and copepods frequently were numerically dominant but usually composed only a small fraction of the biomass. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-1000
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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