, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 83–92 | Cite as

Effects of macrophyte harvesting on the water quality and bottom environment of Lake Biwa, Japan

  • Ayato KohzuEmail author
  • Koichi Shimotori
  • Akio Imai
Special Feature Ecological and limnological bases for management of overgrown macrophytes


Appropriate management of macrophyte biomass via harvesting is crucial for maintaining eutrophic inland waters. However, information on the effects of macrophyte harvesting on the quality and bottom environment of these waters is limited. For our project on Lake Biwa in Japan, we focused on the pore water quality of the surface sediment as a reliable tool for estimating the effects of macrophyte harvesting. We compared the release of heavy metals and nutrients from the sediment based on the pore water quality of harvesting and non-harvesting sites. Our results suggested that macrophyte harvesting affected the water quality poorly in terms of sediment resuspension, but effectively reduced the amount of macrophyte litter on the lake bottom. Different methods of macrophyte harvesting are discussed, and cutting away only the upper section of macrophytes to avoid sediment resuspension instead of pulling up the macrophytes by the root was found to be the ideal harvesting method. In addition, sustainable harvesting to reduce the macrophyte litter on the lake bottom would be required to conserve the lake environment.


Submerged macrophyte litter Effect of harvesting Sediment release DO 



We thank Dr. Kanako Ishikawa and other members of the Lake Biwa Environmental Research Institute and Dr. Kazuhiro Komatsu and Dr. Takayuki Satou of the Center for Regional Environmental Research, NIIES, for their cooperation in sampling and measurements. This research was supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (no. 4-1406) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. All the experiments in this study comply with the current laws of Japan.


  1. Caraco NF, Cole JJ (2002) Contrasting impacts of a native and alien macrophyte on dissolved oxygen in a large river. Ecol Appl 12(5):1496–1509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carpenter SR, Gasith A (1978) Mechanical harvesting of submersed macrophytes: immediate effects on littoral water chemistry and metabolism. Water Res 12:55–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Costantini ML, Rossi L, Fazi S, Rossi D (2009) Detritus accumulation and decomposition in a coastal lake (Acquatina-southern Italy). Aquat Conserv Mar Freshw Ecosyst 19:566–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dadi T, Wendt-Potthoff K, Koschorreck M (2017) Sediment resuspension effects on dissolved organic carbon fluxes and microbial metabolic potentials in reservoirs. Aquat Sci 79(3):749–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Finnegan J, Regan JT, O’Connor M, Wilson P, Healy MG (2014) Implications of applied best management practice for peatland forest harvesting. Ecol Eng 63:12–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hara H (2013) The concentration of aluminum in the drinking water of Shiga prefecture from April 2010 to March 2011. Annu Res Report RCSE, Shiga Univ 10(1):101–108.
  7. Kleeberg A (2013) Impact of aquatic macrophyte decomposition on sedimentary nutrient and metal mobilization in the initial stages of ecosystem development. Aquat Bot 105:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kohzu A, Shimotori K (2016) Sediment environmental studies by the application of new techniques. J Japan Soc Water Environ 39(A):289–293 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  9. Koschinsky A, Gaye-Haake B, Arndt C, Maue G, Spitzy A, Winkler A, Halbach P (2001) Experiments on the influence of sediment disturbances on the biogeochemistry of the deep-sea environment. Deep Sea Res Part II 48:3629–3651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Koyama (2016) Anaerobic digestion of submerged macrophytes—biochemical approach for enhancing the methane production. Ph.D. thesis, Soka University. file:///C:/Users/A86B9 ~ 1.KOH/AppData/Local/Temp/kogakukenkyuka_KOYAMA-MITSUHIKO(1)-1.pdfGoogle Scholar
  11. Li C, Wang B, Yea C, Ba Y (2014) The release of nitrogen and phosphorus during the decomposition process of submerged macrophyte (Hydrilla verticillata Royle) with different biomass levels. Ecol Eng 70:268–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ministry of the Environment, Japan (2017) Novel lake ecosystem management by sustainable harvesting and effective utilization of aquatic weed biomass. Report of The Environment Research and Technology Development Fund 4-1406:20 (in Japanese).
  13. Murray LG, Mudge SM, Newton A, Icely JD (2006) The effect of benthic sediments on dissolved nutrient concentrations and fluxes. Biogeochemistry 81:159–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Petr T (2000) Interactions between fish and aquatic macrophytes in inland waters. A review, vol 396. FAO fisheries technical paper. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  15. Reddy KR, Fisher MM, Ivanoff D (1996) Resuspension and diffusive flux of nitrogen and phosphorus in a hypereutrophic lake. J Environ Qual 25:363–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Scheffer M, Portielje R, Zambrano L (2003) Fish facilitate wave resuspension of sediment. Limnol Oceanogr 48:1920–1926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Stumm W, Morgan JJ (1996) Dissolved carbon dioxide. In: Stumm W, Morgan JJ (eds) Aquatic chemistry: chemical equilibria and rates in natural waters. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 148–205Google Scholar
  18. Takayanagi J, Sakanoi K, Sago J, Suzuki Y, Tanaka H, Abe C, Tsumori J, Nakazono T, Ozaki M, Yamashita H, Minamiyama M, Amano K, Nakamura K, Tokioka T (2004) Research on techniques for treating bottom sediment at enclosed water areas. Priority Res Projects Report (PWRI) 209:123–173.
  19. Wang M, Hao T, Deng X, Wang Z, Cai Z, Li Z (2017) Effects of sediment-borne nutrient and litter quality on macrophyte decomposition and nutrient release. Hydrobiologia 787:205–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Regional Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

Personalised recommendations