Skip to main content

Distribution and habitat of Nitellopsis obtusa (Characeae) in the Laurentian Great Lakes

Abstract

Nitellopsis obtusa, a macroalga (Characeae) native to Europe and Asia, was found in U.S. waters of the St. Clair-Detroit River system in 1983, thus extending the range of this taxon into the Laurentian Great Lakes about 850 km from the St. Lawrence River where it was first discovered in North America in 1978. Its occurrence only in water frequented by commercial shipping vessels suggests that it is distributed via this mechanism. In the St. Clair-Detroit River system, N. obtusa was collected with a Ponar grab at four locations, and with a grapnel at one additional location. It was the ninth most frequently found macrophyte and it was most abundant at Belle Isle in the Detroit River, where the mean dry-weight biomass in Ponar samples was 0 g m-2 in June, 37 g m-2 in August, and 32 g m−2 in September. Maximum biomass of this taxon in one Ponar grab at this location was 289 g m-2 in September. The alga occurred primarily in water of relatively low current velocity (11.3 cm s−1) and in association with Vallisneria americana, Myriophyllum spicatum, Potamogeton richardsonii, Najas flexilis, and Elodea canadensis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Aiken, S. G., P. R. Newroth & I. Wile, 1979. The biology of Canadian weeds. 34. Myriophyllum spicatum L. Can. J. Plant Sci. 59: 201–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Campbell, D. H., 1886. Plants in the Detroit River. Bull. Torrey hot. Club 13: 93–94.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Dodge, C. K., 1899. Flora of St. Clair County, Michigan. Mich. Horticult. Soc. annual Rep. 29: 231–314.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Dodge, C. K., 1914. The flowering plants, ferns and fern allies growing without cultivation in Lambton County, Ontario. Mich. Acad. Sci. Rep. 16: 132–200.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Dromgoole, F. I. & J. M. A. Brown, 1976. Quantitative grab sampler for dense beds of aquatic macrophytes. N. Z. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 10: 109–118.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Farwell, O. A., 1901. A catalogue of the flora of Detroit. Mich. Acad. Sci. Rep. 2: 31–68.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Fassett, N. C., 1969. A manual of aquatic plants. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 405 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Geis, J. W., G. J. Schumacher, D. J. Raynell & N. P. Hyduke, 1981. Distribution of Nitellopsis obtusa (Charophyceae, Characeae) in the St. Lawrence River: a new record for North America. Phycologia 20: 211–214.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Haslem, S. M., 1978. River Plants. Cambridge University Press, NY., 396 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Hunt, G. S., 1963. Wild celery in the lower Detroit River. Ecology 14: 360–370.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hutchinson, G. E., 1975. A Treatise on Limnology, 3. Limnological Botany. John Wiley & Sons, NY., 660 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Melzer, A. & M. Herrmann, 1980. Quantitative distribution of the macrophyte vegetation of Starnberger Lake, Bavaria, West Germany. Ber. Bayer. Bot. Ges. Erforsch. Heim. Flora 51: 31–56. (in German with Engl. Summ.)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Pereyra-Ramos, E., 1981. The ecological role of Characeae in the lake littoral. Ekol. Pol. 29: 167–209.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Pieters, A. J., 1893. The plants of Lake St. Clair. Nat. Sci. 3: 1–10.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Powers, C. F. & A. Robertson, 1967. Design and evaluation of an all-purpose benthic sampler. In J. C. Ayers & D. C. Chandler (eds.), Studies on the Environment and Eutrophication of Lake Michigan, Spec. Rep. 30. Gt Lakes Res. Div., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: 126–131.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Ruta, P. J., 1981. Littoral macrophyte communities of the St. Lawrence River, New York. M. Sci. Thesis, SUNY Coll. Envir. Sci. & For., Syracuse, N.Y., 73 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Voss, E. G., 1972. Michigan Flora, I. Gymnosperms and Monocots. Cranbrook Inst. Sci., Bull. 55, 488 pp.

  18. Westlake, D. F., 1975. Macrophytes. In B. A. Whitton (ed.), River Ecology, University of California Press, Berkeley, Calif.: 106–128.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Wood, R. D., 1965. Monograph of the Characeae. In R. D. Wood & K. Imahori (eds), A Revision of the Characeae, 1. Wheldon & Wesley, Ltd., NY., 349–354.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

Contribution 654, Great Lakes Fishery Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA

Contribution 654, Great Lakes Fishery Laboratory, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Schloesser, D.W., Hudson, P.L. & Nichols, S.J. Distribution and habitat of Nitellopsis obtusa (Characeae) in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Hydrobiologia 133, 91–96 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00010806

Download citation

Keywords

  • Nitellopsis obtusa
  • Great Lakes
  • dry-weight biomass
  • water velocity
  • new record