, Volume 123, Issue 1, pp 13-37

Strategies of reproduction, dispersion, and competition in river plants: A review

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Abstract

The present paper reviews the literature on reproduction, survial, dispersion and competition in aquatic plants of mostly European rivers. The specificity of the strategies of colonization in aquatic plants in comparison with terrestrial plants is noted. The importance of the knowledge of these life history traits in the control of the harmful effects caused by aquatic plants and for ecosystem management is also considered. The difficulty of applying current ecological theories concerning adaptative strategies to aquatic plants is discussed, focusing on the great interest of studying the species traits of aquatic macrophytes for testing such theories and interpreting recolonization patterns of disturbed areas. Knowledge of strategies of reproduction, dispersion and competition among aquatic plants remains very fragmentary, particularly from a quantitative view-point, and further studies are required both for theoretical and practical applications.