Competition between three submerged macrophytes, Elodea canadensis Michx, Elodea nuttallii (Planch.) St John and Lagarosiphon major (Ridl.) Moss

  • C. S. James
  • J. W. Eaton
  • K. Hardwick
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 147)


During photosynthesis, submersed aquatic plant stands create ‘envelopes’ of raised pH and dissolved O2 concentrations and depleted dissolved CO2 concentrations. These may extend beyond the plant stands, suppressing the photosynthetic performance and increasing the photorespiratory stress of adjacent species. In competition between three aquatic macrophytes, Elodea canadensis, Elodea nuttallii and Lagarosiphon major, we hypothesised that a competitive advantage is achieved by those species that have the best stress generation/toleration mechanisms. pH and free CO2 conditions were measured under laboratory conditions at two plant densities and compared with measurements of photosynthesis and respiration at various pH and free CO2 concentrations. L. major raised pH faster and photosynthesised at a greater rate under the experimental conditions and may gain competitive advantage at high pH. No clear differences in photosynthetic behaviour were observed between the Elodea spp. and it is concluded that a wider range of factors than those studied here are probably involved in competition between the three species.

Key words

competition pH Elodea canadensis Elodea nuttallii Lagarosiphon major 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. James
    • 1
  • J. W. Eaton
    • 1
  • K. Hardwick
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological Sciences, Jones BuildingUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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