The impact of submerged aquatic vegetation on nutrient dynamics and bacterial metabolism in a southeastern reservoir
Shivers, Stephen Derrill
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The concentration and bioavailability of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) can be altered by the autochthonous production of macrophytes, and this alteration can influence microbial processes in aquatic ecosystems. Diel and depth dynamics of water chemistry were studied within a bed of submerged aquatic vegetation (Hydrilla verticillata) during a growing season to assess the effects of macrophyte production of DOC on the microbial community of a freshwater reservoir in the southeastern US. This study shows that DOC is produced from submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and that a portion of the DOC (monosaccharide) is labile, which alters nutrient cycling within the SAV bed. This study also examines different autotrophs (Hydrilla, Typha, Lyngbya, and Potamogeton) and the utilization of leached carbon from these autotrophs by the microbial community. The findings of this study explain nutrient and carbon dynamics within aquatic ecosystems and the effects that different autotrophs have on nutrient cycling following senescence.