Does increased salinity reduce functional depth tolerance of four non-halophytic wetland macrophyte species?

Johns, Caitlin, Ramsey, Mike, Bell, Dorothy and Vaughton, Glenda (2014) Does increased salinity reduce functional depth tolerance of four non-halophytic wetland macrophyte species?. Aquatic Botany, 116 13-18. doi:10.1016/j.aquabot.2014.01.003

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Author Johns, Caitlin
Ramsey, Mike
Bell, Dorothy
Vaughton, Glenda
Title Does increased salinity reduce functional depth tolerance of four non-halophytic wetland macrophyte species?
Journal name Aquatic Botany   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0304-3770
Publication date 2014-01-23
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.aquabot.2014.01.003
Open Access Status
Volume 116
Start page 13
End page 18
Total pages 24
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Plant productivity declined as water depth increased in all four study species.
• Depth tolerances decreased as salinity increased for the three emergent species.
• We conclude that wetland salinisation could affect macrophyte depth zonation

Rapid growth in height is an important mechanism used by many emergent wetland macrophytes to withstand water depth increases, particularly in species unable to maintain sufficient rates of photosynthesis and gas exchange for long-term survival underwater. However, increases in salinity can reduce growth rates and above-ground biomass production in non-halophytic macrophytes and this may reduce their inundation tolerance. We tested this hypothesis by comparing growth responses of Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers, Paspalum distichum L., Eleocharis equisetina C.Presl and Bolboschoenus caldwellii (V.J.Cook) Soják at three depths (5, 20 and 60 cm) across four salinity treatments (200, 2500, 5000 and 10 000 mg L−1). Increases in depth had negative effects on the growth of all four species. The three emergent wetland macrophyte species (P. distichum, E. equisetina and B. caldwellii) grew more rapidly, produced more above-ground biomass, and/or maintained positive growth rates at greater depths in the lower salinity treatments than at higher salinities. The terrestrial grass species, C. dactylon, displayed negligible growth when waterlogged and where biomass decreased significantly with depth, there were no significant differences in biomass between the salinity treatments. We conclude that increases in salinity reduced the ability of the three emergent wetland macrophyte species to withstand increases in water depth. The potential depth ranges of these species are therefore likely to change within wetlands if salinisation occurs. Specifically, the habitat ranges of these species are likely to contract and shift towards the shallower, less-frequently flooded limits of their current ranges as salinity levels become limiting to growth
Keyword Bolboschoenus caldwellii
Cynodon dactylon
Eleocharis equisetina
Freshwater macrophytes
Paspalum distichum
Plant growth
Tidal restoration
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Available online 23 January 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 28 Jan 2014, 11:20:30 EST by Caitlin Johns on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation