Advertisement

Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 239–247 | Cite as

Rhizome dynamics and resource storage in Phragmites australis

  • Wilhelm Granéli
  • Stefan E. B. Weisner
  • Mark D. Sytsma
Article

Abstract

Seasonal changes in rhizome concentrations of total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC), water soluble carbohydrates (WSC), and mineral nutrients (N, P and K) were monitored in two Phragmites australis stands in southern Sweden. Rhizome biomass, rhizome length per unit ground area, and specific weight (weight/ length ratio) of the rhizomes were monitored in one of the stands.

Rhizome biomass decreased during spring, increased during summer and decreased during winter. However, changes in spring and summer were small (< 500 g DW m-2) compared to the mean rhizome biomass (approximately 3000 g DW m−2). Winter losses were larger, approximately 1000 g DW m-2, and to a substantial extent involved structural biomass, indicating rhizome mortality. Seasonal changes in rhizome length per unit ground area revealed a rhizome mortality of about 30% during the winter period, and also indicated that an intensive period of formation of new rhizomes occurred in June.

Rhizome concentrations of TNC and WSC decreased during the spring, when carbohydrates were translocated to support shoot growth. However, rhizome standing stock of TNC remained large (> 1000 g m−2). Concentrations and standing stocks of mineral nutrients decreased during spring/ early summer and increased during summer/ fall. Only N, however, showed a pattern consistent with a spring depletion caused by translocation to shoots. This pattern indicates sufficient root uptake of P and K to support spring growth, and supports other evidence that N is generally the limiting mineral nutrient for Phragmites.

The biomass data, as well as increased rhizome specific weight and TNC concentrations, clearly suggests that “reloading” of rhizomes with energy reserves starts in June, not towards the end of the growing season as has been suggested previously. This resource allocation strategy of Phragmites has consequences for vegetation management.

Our data indicate that carbohydrate reserves are much larger than needed to support spring growth. We propose that large stores are needed to ensure establishment of spring shoots when deep water or stochastic environmental events, such as high rhizome mortality in winter or loss of spring shoots due to late season frost, increase the demand for reserves.

Keywords

biomass carbohydrates nitrogen phosphorus Phragmites australis potassium reed rhizome translocation wetland 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Björk, S. 1967. Ecologic investigations of Phragmites communis. Studies in theoretic and applied limnology. Folia Limnol. Scand. 14:1–248.Google Scholar
  2. Björk, S. 1988. Redevelopment of lake ecosystems — a case study approach. Ambio 17:90–98.Google Scholar
  3. Björk, S. and Graneli, W. 1978. Energy reeds and the environment. Ambio 7:150–156.Google Scholar
  4. Björndahl, G. 1983. Structure and biomass of Phragmites stands. Ph D Thesis, University of Göteborg, Sweden. 207 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Brix, H. and Schierup, H.-H. 1989. The use of macrophytes in water-pollution control. Ambio 18:100–107.Google Scholar
  6. Chapin, F.S. III., Schultze, E.-D. and Mooney, H.A. 1990. The ecology and economics of storage in plants. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 21:423–447.Google Scholar
  7. Dubois, M., Giles, K.A., Hamilton, J.K., Rebers, P.A. and Smith, F. 1956. Colorimetric method for determination of sugars and related substances. Analytical Chem. 28:350–356.Google Scholar
  8. Dykyjova, D. and Hradecka, D. 1976. Production ecology of Phragmites communis. I. Relations of two ecotypes to the microclimate and nutrient conditions of habitat. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 11:23–61.Google Scholar
  9. Fiala, K. 1976. Underground organs of Phragmites communis, Their growth, biomass and net production. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 11:225–259.Google Scholar
  10. Fiala, K. 1978. Seasonal development of helophyte polycormones and relationship between underground and aboveground organs. In: Pond littoral ecosystems. pp. 174–181. Edited by D. Dykyjova and J. Kvet. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  11. Fleischer, S., Hamrin, S., Kindt, T., Rydberg, L. and Stibe, L. 1987. Coastal eutrophication in Sweden: reducing nitrogen in land runoff. Ambio 16:246–251.Google Scholar
  12. Gallagher, J.L., Wolf, P.L. and Pfeiffer, W.J. 1984. Rhizome and root growth rates and cycles in protein and carbohydrate concentrations in Georgia Spartina alterniflora Loisel. plants. Amer. J. Bot. 71:165–169.Google Scholar
  13. Granéli, W. 1984. Reed Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel as an energy source in Sweden. Biomass 4:183–208.Google Scholar
  14. Granéli, W. 1985. Biomass response after nutrient addition to natural stands of reed, Phragmites australis. Int. Ver. Theor. Angew. Limnol. Verh. 22:2956–2961.Google Scholar
  15. Granéli, W. 1990. Standing crop and mineral content of reed, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel in Sweden — management of reed stands to maximize harvestable biomass. Folia Geobot. Phytotax. 25:291–302.Google Scholar
  16. Granéli W., Enell, M. and Unosson, L. 1982. Energivass Rapport Etapp IV. Institute of Limnology, University of Lund, Sweden. 162 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Granéli, W. and Solander, D. 1988. Influence of aquatic macrophytes on phosphorus cycling in lakes. Hydrobiologia 170:245–266.Google Scholar
  18. Granéli, W., Sytsma, M.D. and Weisner, S. 1983. Changes in biomass, nonstructural carbohydrates, nitrogen and phosphorus content of the rhizomes and shoots of Phragmites australis during spring growth. Proc. Int. Symp. Aquat. Macrophytes, Nijmegen, 18–23 Sept, 1983:78–83.Google Scholar
  19. Granéli, W. and Thörrne, L. 1984. Energivass Rapport Etapp V. Institute of Limnology, University of Lund, Sweden. 146 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Haldemann, C. and Brändle, R. 1986. Seasonal variations of reserves and fermentation processes in wetland plant rhizomes at the natural site. Flora (Jena) 178:307–313.Google Scholar
  21. Ho, Y.B. 1981. Mineral composition of Phragmites australis in Scottish lochs as related to eutrophication. I. Seasonal changes in organs. Hydrobiologia 85:227–237.Google Scholar
  22. Hocking, P.J. 1989. Seasonal dynamics of production, and nutrient accumulation and cycling by Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel in nutrient-enriched swamp in inland Australia. I. Whole plants. Aust. J. Freshwater Res. 40:421–444.Google Scholar
  23. Husak, S. 1978. Control of reed and reed mace by cutting. In: Pond littoral ecosystems. pp. 404–408. Edited by D. Dykyjová and J. Kvet. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  24. Kausch, A.P., Seago, J.L., Jr. and Marsh, L.C. 1981. Changes in starch distribution in the overwintering organs of Typha latifolia (Typhaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 68:877–880.Google Scholar
  25. Lefor, M.W. 1987. Phalaris arundinacea L. (reed canary grass —Gramineae) as a hydrophyte in Essex, Connecticut, USA. Environ. Manag. 11:771–773.Google Scholar
  26. Linden, M.J.H.A., van der. 1980. Nitrogen economy of reed vegetation in the Zuidelijk Flevoland polder. I. Distribution of nitrogen among shoots and rhizomes during the growing season and loss of nitrogen due to fire management. Acta Æcolo-gica/Æcol. Plant. 1:219–230.Google Scholar
  27. Linden, M.J.H.A., van der. 1986. Phosphorus economy of reed vegetation in the Zuidelijk Flevoland polder (The Netherlands): seasonal distribution of phosphorus among shoots and rhizomes and availability of soil phosphorus. Acta Æcologica/ Æcol. Plant. 7:397–405.Google Scholar
  28. Mason, C.F. and Bryant, R.J. 1975. Production, nutrient content and decomposition of Phragmites communis Trin. and Typha angustifolia L. J. Ecol. 63:71–95.Google Scholar
  29. Mochnacka-Lawacz, H. 1974. Seasonal changes of Phragmites communis Trin. Part 11. Mineral content. Pol. Arch. Hydrobiol. 21:369–380.Google Scholar
  30. Ondok, J.P. 1978. Estimation of seasonal growth of underground biomass. In: Pond littoral ecosystems. pp 193–197. Edited by D. Dykyjová and J. Kvet. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  31. Rodewald-Rudesco, L. 1974. Das Schilfrohr Phragmites communis Trinius. Die Binnengewasser 27:1–302.Google Scholar
  32. Schierup, H.-H. 1978. Biomass and primary production in a Phragmites communis Trin. swamp in North Jutland, Denmark, Int. Ver. Theor. Angew. Limnol. Verh. 20:94–99.Google Scholar
  33. Schubauer, J.P. and Hopkinson, C.S. 1984. Above- and below-ground emergent macrophyte production and turnover in a coastal marsh ecosystem, Georgia. Limnol. Oceanogr.,29: 1052–1065.Google Scholar
  34. Shaver, G.R. and Melillo, J.M. 1984. Nutrient budgets of marsh plants: efficiency concepts and relation to availability. Ecology 65:1491–1510.Google Scholar
  35. Smith, C.S., Adams, M.S. and Gustafson, T.D. 1988. The importance of belowground mineral element stores in cattails (Typha latifolia L.). Aquat. Bot. 30:343–352.Google Scholar
  36. Smith, D., Palsen, G.M. and Raguse, C.A. 1964. Extraction of total available carbohydrates from grass and legume tissue. Plant Physiol. 39:960–962.Google Scholar
  37. Thompson, D.J. and Shay, J.M. 1985. The effects of fire on Phragmites australis in the Delta Marsh, Manitoba. Can. J. Bot. 63:1864–1869.Google Scholar
  38. Tilton, D.L. and Kadlec, R.H. 1979. The utilization of a freshwater wetland for nutrient removal from secondarily treated wastewater effluent. J. Environ. Qual. 8:328–334.Google Scholar
  39. Toivonen, H. and Nybom, C. 1989. Aquatic vegetation and its recent succession in the waterfowl wetland Koijärvi, S. Finland. Ann. Bot. Fennici 26:1–14.Google Scholar
  40. Tukey, J.W. 1977. Exploratory Data Analysis. Addison-Wesley Publishing, Menlo Park, California, USA. 506 pp.Google Scholar
  41. Vézina, L. 1989. Effet de la coupe, du travail du sol et du fractionnement des rhizomes sur la regeneration du phragmite commun. Phytoprotection 70:15–23.Google Scholar
  42. Weisner, S.E.B. 1987. The relation between wave exposure and distribution of emergent vegetation in a eutrophic lake. Freshwater Biol. 18:537–544.Google Scholar
  43. Weisner, S.E.B. 1988. Factors affecting the internal oxygen supply of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steudel in situ. Aquat. Bot. 31:329–335.Google Scholar
  44. Weisner, S.E.B. 1990. Emergent vegetation in eutrophic lakes: distributional patterns and ecophysiological constraints. PhD Thesis. University of Lund, Sweden. 84 pp.Google Scholar
  45. Weisner, S.E.B. 1991. Within-lake patterns in depth penetration of emergent vegetation. Freshwater Biol. 26: 133–142.Google Scholar
  46. Weisner, S.E.B. and Granéli, W. 1989. Influence of substrate conditions on the growth of Phragmites australis after a reduction in oxygen transport to below-ground parts. Aquat. Bot. 35:71–80.Google Scholar
  47. Wetzel, R.G. 1983. Limnology. W.B. Saunders, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. 760 pp.Google Scholar
  48. Yamasaki, S. 1984. Role of plant aeration in zonation of Zizania latifolia and Phragmites australis. Aquat. Bot. 18:287–297.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© SPB Academic Publishing 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Granéli
    • 1
  • Stefan E. B. Weisner
    • 1
  • Mark D. Sytsma
    • 1
  1. 1.Limnology, Department of EcologyUniversity of LundLundSweden

Personalised recommendations