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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluating the Feasibility of Planting Aquatic Plants for Habitat Restoration in Shallow Mississippi Lakes

item Smiley, Peter

Submitted to: American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2005
Publication Date: January 31, 2006
Citation: Smiley, P.C., Dibble, E.D. 2006. Evaluating the feasibility of planting aquatic plants for habitat restoration in shallow mississippi lakes. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. p. 26.

Technical Abstract: Planting native aquatic plants is a technique used to restore vegetated habitat important to fish in lakes lacking aquatic plants. However, the feasibility of using this restoration technique in Mississippi lakes has not been evaluated. We conducted two exclosure experiments to evaluate the success of planting aquatic plants in a shallow Mississippi lake. We planted four emergent plant species in experiment 1 and four submersed plant species in experiment 2. Each experiment contained a control treatment in which no aquatic plants were planted. We measured physico-chemical characteristics of soil and water and monitored aquatic plants in each exclosure. No differences in mean soil and water parameters were observed among planting treatments in both experiments. The square-stem spike rush and arrowhead exhibited the greatest mean percent cover and the lowest probably of extinction in experiment 1. Additionally, the blunt spike rush and square-stem spike rush had the greatest mean stem density in experiment 1. Only mean percent cover differed among planting treatments in experiment 2, and the fragrant water lily exhibited a greater mean percent cover than the control. Our results suggest that the square-stem spike rush and fragrant water lily may be the best candidate species to plant in shallow Mississippi lakes when selecting a plant species for habitat restoration.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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