Nutrient Leaching from Leaf Litter of Emergent Macrophyte(Zizania latifolia) and the Effects of Water Temperature on the Leaching Process

  • Park, Sangkyu (West Sea Fisheries Research Institute, National Fisheries Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Cho, Kang-Hyun (Department of Biological Sciences, College of Sciences, Inha University)
  • Published : 2003.12.01


To quantify nutrient loading from emergent macrophytes through leaching in the littoral zones of Paldang Reservoir, we conducted incubation experiments using leaf litter of the emergent macrophyte, Zizaniz latifolia. To separate the leaching process from microbial decay, we used $HgCl_2$ to suppress microbial activity during the experiment. We measured electric conductivity, absorbance at 280nm, total nitrogen and dissolved inorganic nitrogen, total phosphorus and soluble reactive phosphorus, Na, K, Mg and Ca amounts in leaf litter and in water. In addition, we examined the effects of water temperature and ion concentrations of ambient water on the leaching process. A total of 6% of the initial ash-free dry mass of leaf litter was lost due to leaching during incubation (four days). Electric conductivity and A280 continued to increase and saturate during the incubation. To compare reaching rates of different nutrients, we fitted leaching dynamics with a hyperbolic saturation function [Y=AㆍX/(B+X)]. From these fittings, we found that ratios of leaching amounts to nutrient concentration in the litter were in the order of K > Na > Mg > P > Ca > N. Leaching from leaf litter of Z. latifolia was dependent on water temperature while it was not related with ion concentrations in the ambient water. Our results suggest that the leaching process of nutrients, especially phosphorus, from aquatic macrophytes provides considerable contribution to the eutrophication of the Paldang Reservoir ecosystem.


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