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Relationship between Vegetation Composition and Dissolved Nitrogen in Wetlands of Higashi-Hiroshima, West Japan

  • Miandoab, Azam Haidary (Division of Environmental Dynamics and Management, Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University) ;
  • Nakane, Kaneyuki (Division of Environmental Dynamics and Management, Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University)
  • Published : 2007.08.30

Abstract

Twenty-four wetlands located in Higashi-Hiroshima City in West Japan were selected for this study in order to investigate both the relationship between aquatic plant composition and environmental conditions; and the relationship between changing land use patterns in the catchments and the concentration of different forms of nitrogen in the wetlands. The dominant and subdominant species which comprised the principal vegetation were determined based on a vegetation census conducted in each wetland during the growing season from June to August, 2006. The seasonal variations of water quality factors (pH, electrical conductivity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solid, and temperature) and different forms of nitrogen such as nitrite, nitrate, ammonium, total nitrogen, dissolved organic nitrogen and dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations were analyzed as important indicators of water quality for the surface water of the wetlands. The surveyed wetlands were classified into three types (non-disturbed wetlands, moderately-disturbed wetlands and highly-disturbed wetlands), based on the degree of human disturbance to their catchment areas. An analysis of variance indicated that there was a significant difference among the wetland groups in the annual mean values of electrical conductivity, total dissolved solids, total nitrogen, nitrite, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and dissolved organic nitrogen. Classification of the wetlands into three groups has revealed a pattern of changes in the composition of plant species in the wetlands and a pattern of changes in nitrogen concentrations. A majority of the non-disturbed wetlands were characterized by Brasenia schrebi and Trapa bispinosa as dominant; with Potamogeton fryeri and Iris pesudacorus as sub-dominant species. For most of the moderately-disturbed wetlands, Brasenia schrebi were shown to be a dominant species; Elocheriss kuriguwai and Phragmites australis were observed as sub-dominant species. For a majority of the highly-disturbed wetlands, Typha latifolia and T. angustifolia were observed as dominant species, and Nymphea tetragona as the sub-dominant species in the study area. An analysis of land use and water quality factors indicated that forest area played a considerable role in reducing the concentration of nutrients, and can act as a sink for surface/subsurface nutrient inputs flowing into wetland water, anchor the soil, and lower erosion rates into wetlands.

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