Return and Increase in Abundance of Aquatic Flowering Plants in Put-In-Bay Harbor, Lake Erie, Ohio

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1995-06

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Abstract

The initial survey of aquatic flowering plants in Put-in-Bay Harbor, South Bass Island, OH, by Pieters (1901), and a follow-up study by Stuckey (1971), documented an overall loss of 50% of the species, and 61% of the submersed species. In the past 25 years, and moreover in the past five years, dramatic new changes in the species composition have occurred in the flora: 1) nine species have returned or appeared for the first time, 2) fourteen species have continued to survive or have increased in abundance, and 3) five species have declined in overall abundance. The return of species requiring clear water for seed germination and growth and the reduction in abundance of species tolerant of turbid water may be related to the invasions and spread of Dreissena polymorpha (Zebra Mussel) and Dreissena bugensis (Quagga Mussel) which have resulted in increasing water clarity. Vallisneria americana continues to be the dominant submersed species of Put-in-Bay Harbor.

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Author Institution: Herbarium, Museum of Biological Diversity, The Ohio State University ; Department of Biology, Utica College of Syracuse University

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The Ohio Journal of Science. v95, n3 (June, 1995), 261-266