Changes in aquatic macrophyte communities in Loch Leven: evidence of recovery from eutrophication?
- 483 Downloads
This article assesses changes in the macrophyte community of Loch Leven over a period of 100 years. Evidence is presented that shows that these changes are associated with eutrophication and with subsequent recovery from eutrophication when anthropogenic nutrient inputs to the loch were reduced. This study uses macrophyte survey data from 1905, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986, 1993, 1999 and 2008. In each of the four most modern surveys, the loch was divided into 19 sectors, each with at least one transect ranging from the shallowest to the deepest occurrence of macrophytes. From these data, a range of indicators of recovery were derived at the whole lake scale: the relative abundance of taxa, taxon richness and evenness. All of these metrics showed an improvement since 1972. Species richness, measured at the scales of survey sector and individual samples, also appeared to have increased in recent years. All of these measures, coupled with ordination of the presence/absence composition data from all survey years, indicate that the macrophyte community in the loch is recovering towards the state that was recorded in 1905.
KeywordsLake Plant diversity Phosphorus Growing depth Charophyte Potamogeton
The authors thank Bryan Spears and Linda May for help with the preparation of this manuscript. Thanks are also due to all of the surveyors involved in the collection of the data on which this article is based. We are also grateful to Kinross Estates for providing access to the loch. This research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. Loch Leven is part of the UK Environmental Change Network (http://www.ecn.ac.uk).
- Britton, R. H., 1975. Survey of aquatic macrophytes in Loch Leven. Loch Leven Research Group, Leven.Google Scholar
- Carss, D., B. M. Spears, L. Quinn & R. Cooper, 2011. Long-term variations in waterfowl populations in Loch Leven: identifying discontinuities between local and national trends. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0927-6
- Carvalho, L., C. Ferguson, B. M. Spears, I. D. M.Gunn, H. Bennion, A. Kirika & L. May, 2011. Water quality of Loch Leven: responses to enrichment, restoration and climate change. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0923-x.
- Griffin, L. R. & A. Milligan, 1999. Submerged macrophytes of Loch Leven, Kinross (Report to Scottish Natural Heritage). University of Glasgow, Glasgow.Google Scholar
- Gunn, I. D. M., M. T. O’Hare, P. S. Maitland & L. May, 2011. Long-term trends in Loch Leven invertebrate communities. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0926-7.
- Jeppesen, E., M. A. Søndergaard, M. O. Søndergaard & K. Christofferson (eds), 1998. The structuring role of submerged macrophytes in lakes. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
- Jupp, B. P., D. H. N. Spence & R. H. Britton, 1974. Distribution and production of submerged macrophytes in Loch Leven, Kinross. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Section B-Biological Sciences 74: 195–208.Google Scholar
- LLCMP, 1999. Loch Leven Catchment Management Plan. The Report of the Loch Leven Area Management Advisory Group: 93 pp.Google Scholar
- Magurran, A. E., 2004. Measuring Biological Diversity. Blackwell, Oxford.Google Scholar
- May, L. & B. M. Spears, 2011. Managing ecosystem services at Loch Leven, Scotland, UK: actions, impacts and unintended consequences. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0931-x
- May, L. L. H. Defew, H. Bennion & A. Kirika, 2011. Historical changes (1905–2005) in external phosphorus loads to Loch Leven, Scotland, UK. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0922-y
- Munro, D., 1994. Loch Leven and the River Leven–a landscape transformed. The River Leven Trust, Markinch: 196.Google Scholar
- Murphy, K. J. & A. Milligan, 1993. Submerged macrophytes of Loch Leven, Kinross—August 1993. Report to Scottish Natural Heritage, Contract No. 937/F2A/5.3/224). Centre for Research in Environmental Science and Technology. University of Glasgow, Glasgow.Google Scholar
- Murray, J. & L. Pullar, 1910. Bathymetrical survey of the freshwater lochs of Scotland, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
- R Development Core Team, 2008. R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.Google Scholar
- Robson, T. O., 1986. Loch Leven, Kinross macrophyte survey—August 1986. Final report for Contract No HF3-03-208(46). Nature Conservancy Council.Google Scholar
- Robson, T. O., 1990. Loch Leven—Kinross: macrophyte survey August 1990. Final Report to Nature Conservancy Council, Kinross. NCC Contract No. 21.F2B.219.DA01.Google Scholar
- Smith, I. R., 1974. The structure and physical environment of Loch Leven, Scotland. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Section B-Biological Sciences 74: 81–100.Google Scholar
- Spears B. M., L. Carvalho, R. Perkins, A. Kirika & D. M. Paterson, 2011. Long-term variation and regulation of internal phosphorus loading in Loch Leven. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0921-z
- US Environmental Protection Agency, 1998. Lake and reservoir bioassessment and criteria: technical guidance document (No. Report EPA 841-B-98-007), Washington.Google Scholar
- West, G., 1910. A further contribution to a comparative study of the dominant Phanerogamic and Higher Cryptogamic flora of aquatic habit in Scottish lakes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, B, 30: 170–173, 162 Plates.Google Scholar
- Winfield, I. J., C. E. Adams, R. Gardiner, A. Kirika, J. Montgomery, B. Spears, D. Stewart, J. E. Thorpe & W. Wilson, 2011. Changes in the fish community of Loch Leven: untangling anthropogenic pressures. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-011-0925-8.