, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 235–250 | Cite as

Production, nutrient dynamics and initial decomposition of floating leaves of Nymphaea alba L. and Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. (Nymphaeaceae) in alkaline and acid waters

  • C. J. Kok
  • G. Van der Velde
  • K. M. Landsbergen


Production, turnover and nutrient dynamics of floating leaves of Nymphaea alba L. and Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm. were studied in four aquatic systems in The Netherlands, differing strongly in water quality. Production was 108–447 g AFDW.m−2 for N. lutea and 319–348 g AFDW.m−2 for N. alba. Turnover ranged from 3.6 to 4.4 without much difference between the sites and the species. During senescence 60–70% of the N and P from the leaves was resorbed by both of the plant species. The nutrient flow from the floating leaves into the detritus food chain differed considerably between the species and sites studied, mainly because of the differences in production. The data suggest that production is strongly influenced by the environment, whereas turnover and nutrient resorption during senescence seem to be plant characteristics. There was little difference in dynamics of the chlorophyll-α concentration in the leaves of the two species, irrespective of the growing site. Floating leaves of both species lost about 70% of their area due to fragmentation in the alkaline waters, whereas in the acid water very little fragmentation was observed.

Key words

decomposition floating leaves Nuphar lutea nutrient dynamics Nymphaea alba production senescence turnover water quality 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Kok
    • 1
  • G. Van der Velde
    • 1
  • K. M. Landsbergen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Aquatic EcologyCatholic University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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