, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 69–82 | Cite as

Determining suitable submerged macrophyte biomass in terms of dissolved oxygen concentration and biodiversity in the South Basin of Lake Biwa, Japan

  • Kanako IshikawaEmail author
  • Hiroki Haga
  • Eiso Inoue
  • Syuhei Ban
Special Feature Ecological and limnological bases for management of overgrown macrophytes


After a regime shift in eutrophic lakes from a turbid water state with phytoplankton blooms to a clear water state, troublesome issues caused by excessive growths of aquatic plants occurred. This study investigated the relationships between submerged macrophyte biomass, and associated fauna and flora, and environmental factors at 52 stations in the South Basin of Lake Biwa. Polynomial regression analysis gave 5 significant regression equations (P < 0.05, n = 52) of submerged macrophyte biomass versus depth, periphyton biomass, and periphyton, epifauna and epi-shellfish taxa richness. We added one equation (P < 0.1, n = 52), which was not significant, but was important for complying with the environmental quality standard for submerged macrophyte biomass versus bottom dissolved oxygen (DO) in Japan. Eleven significant regression equations of percentage volume submerged macrophyte infestation (PVI) versus depth, bottom DO, east–west and north–south averaged from surface to bottom current velocities absolute value, total chlorophyll a (chl.a) and chl.a of green and blue-green algae, epifauna biomass, submerged macrophyte species richness, periphyton and epifauna taxa richness (P < 0.05, n = 52) were also generated. When submerged macrophyte biomass was > 6000 g m−2 or PVI was > 60%, DO concentrations became too low for the survival of fish and invertebrates (< 4.3 mg l−1). In addition, the cubic regressions of periphyton and epifauna taxa richness showed inflection points were at 3000 g m−2 of submerged macrophyte biomass. Epifaunal biomass, submerged macrophyte species richness, periphyton and epifaunal taxa richness showed inflection points at 30% PVI. Previous studies suggested that regime shifts occur at particular thresholds, and community structure and biodiversity change significantly. Therefore, we assumed regression inflection points were threshold indicators. We recommend an appropriate submerged macrophyte biomass of 3000–6000 g m−2 or a PVI of 30–60% to maintain the ecosystem in a clear water state with fewer troublesome issues — starting at these levels macrophyte growth should be controlled in Lake Biwa.


Aquatic plants Water weeds Regime shift Lake management Harvesting vegetation 



This research was supported by the Lake Biwa Environmental Research Institute, Lake Biwa Museum and an Environmental Research and Technology Development Fund subsidy from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (4-1406(3), 2014-2016). Kanako Ishikawa was also financially supported for data analysis by JSPS KAKENHI 18H01569. The authors would also like to thank the research staff and students of Soka University and University of Shiga Prefecture for field support and data analysis.


  1. Brönmark C, Vermaat JE (1998) Complex fish-snail-epiphyton interactions and their effects on submnerged freshwater macrophytes. In: Jeppesen E, Søndergaard M, Søndergaard M, Christoffersen K (eds) The structuring role of macrophytes in lakes. Springer, New York, pp 114–132Google Scholar
  2. Canfield DE Jr, Shireman JV, Colle DE, Haller WT, Watkins CT, Maceina MJ (1984) Prediction of chlorophyll a concentrations in Florida lakes: importance of aquatic macrophytes. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 41:497–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Carpenter SR, Lodge DM (1986) Effects of submerged macrophytes on ecosystem process. Aquat Bot 26:341–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chorus I, Bartram J (1999) Toxic cyanobacteria in water: a guide to their public health consequences, monitoring and management. World Health Organization.
  5. Dhote S, Dixit S (2009) Water quality improvement thorough macrophytes—a review. Environ Monit Assess 152:149–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Doson SI (2005) Introduction to limnology. McGraw-Hill, NewYork, p 400Google Scholar
  7. Eklöv P, Diel S (1994) Piscivore efficiency and refuging prey: the importance of predator search mode. Oecologia 98:344–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Haga H, Ishiakwa K (2016) Spatial distributions of submerged macrophytes in the southern Lake Biwa basin in the summer of 2014, in comparison with those 2002, 2007 and 2012. Jpn J Limnol 77:55–64 (in Japanese with English abstract) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Haga H, Ashiya M, Ohtsuka T, Matsuda M, Tuji A, Baba K, Numahata S, Yamane T (2006) Relationship between dissolved oxygen concentration of bottom water and macrophyte biomass in the southern basin of Lake Biwa, Japan. Jpn J Limnol 67:23–27 (in Japanese with English abstract) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hamabata E (1993) Lake Erhai. In: Lake Biwa Research Institute (ed) Lakes in the world. Jinbun shoin, Kyoto, pp 52–55Google Scholar
  11. Hamabata E (2005) Submerged macrophytes in Lake Biwa. Bull LBRI 22:105–119 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  12. Hamabata E, Sugimura S, Ishikawa K (2012) The explosive development and control of aquatic weeds. In: Nishino M, Maehata M, Kawanabe H (eds) Lake Biwa: interactions between nature and people. Springer, Berlin, pp 469–473Google Scholar
  13. Hanazato T (2008) Ecosystem changes in Lake Suwa and their relation to human communities. J Jpn Soc Wat Environ 32(5):248–249 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  14. Higuchi S, Kitano S, Kondo Y, Sakai K, Fukase H, Minemura T, Yamakawa A, Sakai M, Kodaira Y, Terasawa J, Nozaki H, Kasai F, Watanabe MM (2013) Aquatic vegetation changes in experimental enclosures fixed on the bottom of Lake Nojiri, central Japan. Nojiriko Naumann Elephant Mus Res Rep 21:1–7 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  15. Hilt S (2015) Regime shifts between macrophytes and phytoplankton—concepts beyond shallow lakes, unravelling stabilizing mechanisms and practical consequences. Limnetica 34(2):467–480Google Scholar
  16. Hilt S, Gross EM, Hupfer M, Morscheid H, Mahlmann J, Melzer A, Poltz J, Sandrock S, Scharf E-M, Schneider S, vande Weyer K (2006) Restoration of submerged vegetation in shallow eutrophic lakes—a guideline and state of the art in Germany. Limnologica 36:155–177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hiratsuka J, Yamamuro M, Ishitobi Y (2006) Satoumi-mokutorimonogatari. Seibutsu Kenkyusya, Tokyo, p 141 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  18. Hussner A, Stiers I, Verhofstad MJJM, Bakker ES, Grutters BMC, Haury J, van Valkenburg JLCH, Brundu G, Newman J, Clayton JS, Anderson LWJ, Hofstra D (2017) Management and control methods of invasive alien freshwater aquatic plants: a review. Aquat Bot 136:112–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ichise S, Yoshida M, Wakabayashi T, Furuta S, Okamoto T, Hara R, Aoki S, Nishibayashi K (2006) Verification of countermeasure against cyanobacterial blooms at coastal region of Lake Biwa. Res Rep Lake Biwa Environ Res Inst 3:179–188 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  20. Inoue E (2015) Current situation of biodiversity in benthic animals. Science report of adaptive management of ecosystem in South Basin of Lake Biwa. LBERI pp 105–107 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  21. Ishida T (2006) New effective use of aquatic plants. Kaede 90:9–10 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  22. Ishikawa K, Haga H (2015) Water stagnation and poor oxygen due to massive submerged macrophytes, and restoration by mowing. Science report of adaptive management of ecosystem in South Basin of Lake Biwa LBERI, Otsu, p 56–63 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  23. Ishikawa K, Inoue E (2017) Recent submerged macrophytes in South Basin and merits and demerits of harvesting and removing by artificial means. In: Nishino M, Akiyama M, Nakajima T (eds) Messages from Lake Biwa shore: viewpoints of its conservation and restoration. Sunrise Publishing, Hikone, pp 122–126 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  24. Ishikawa K, Okamoto T (2015) Water quality in South Basin of Lake Biwa and prolific growth of submerged macrophytes. J Environ Con Eng 44:488–493 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  25. Japan water agency (2009) The Lake Biwa submerged macrophyte investigation report with illustrations. Japan water agency Lake Biwa development integrated operation & maintenance office, Otsu, p 146 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  26. Jiao C, Hamabata E (2007) Considering submerged macrophyte management in Lake Biwa from comparative lake research. LBERI News 9:2–3 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  27. Kaneko Y, Azuma Y, Sasaki Y, Tatsumi M, Hashimoto H, Sugawa W, Ishikawa K, Haga H, Inoue E, Nishino M (2012) Research on policy issues concerning conservation, restoration and management of lakeshore ecosystem. Res Rep Lake Biwa Environ Res Inst 7:113–149 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  28. Kawahara Y (1999) Separation and purification of cellulose fibers from water plants. Eco Industry 4(10):15–18 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  29. Kawasaki T (2015) Challenges to adaptive management and effective utilization of waterweed in Lake Biwa. J Environ Con Eng 44:500–505 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  30. Konijòw R, Gulati RD, Van Donk E (1990) Hydrophyte-macroinvertebrate interactions in Zwemhulst, a lake undergoing biomanupulation. Hydrobiologia 200(201):467–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Koyama M, Yamamoto S, Ishikawa K, Ban S, Toda T (2014) Anaerobic digestion of submerged macrophytes: chemical composition and anaerobic digestibility. Ecol Eng 69:304–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kuiper JJ, Verhofstad MJJM, Louwers ELM, Bakker ES, Brederveld RJ, van Gerven LPA, Janssen ABG, de Klein JJM, Mooij WM (2017) Mowing submerged macrophytes in shallow lakes with alternative stable states: battling the good guys? Environ Manag 59(4):619–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kunii H (2017) Evaluation and measures against the spontaneous explanation expansion of aquatic macrophytes in Lake Shinji by means of DPSIR model. Research report of Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 25281054 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  34. Marumo K, Yokota M (2012) Review on the Hypoxia hypoxia formation and its effects on aquatic organisms. Rep Mar Ecol Res Inst 15:1–21 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  35. Ministry of the environment (2015) Revision of environmental standard concerning conservation of living environment related to water pollution (Report) URL.
  36. Miwa S, Tuji A, Torimoto N (1997) Teaching materials for making paper using regional aquatic plants (Elodea nuttallii). Kagaku to Kyoiku 45(8):472–473 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  37. Nakai K (2002) Bacground and current status of invasive fish problem in Lake Biwa. Iden 56(6):35–41 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  38. Pieterse AH, Murphy KJ (1990) Aquatic weeds. The ecology and management of nuisance aquatic vegetation. Oxford University Press, NewYork, p 593Google Scholar
  39. Richard DI, SmallJr JW, Osborne JA (1984) Response of zooplankton to the reduction and elimination of submerged vegetation by grass carp and herbicide in four Florida lakes. Hydrobiologia 123(2):98–108Google Scholar
  40. Sakurai Y (1984) Aquatic plants of Lake Nojiri destroyed by overcrowding of grass-carp. Bull Water Plant Soc Japan 17:27–28 (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  41. Scheffer M, Carpenter SR (2003) Catastrophic regime shifts in ecosystems: linking theory to observation. Trends Ecol Evol 18:648–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scheffer M, Carpenter SR, Foley JA, Folke C, Walker B (2001) Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems. Nature 413:591–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Seagrave C (1988) Aquatic weed control. Fishing news books, Surrey, p 154Google Scholar
  44. Smith CS, Adams MS (1986) Phosphorus transfer from sediments to Myriophyllum spicatum. Limnol Oceanogr 31(6):1312–1321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Søndergaard M, Moss B (1998) Impact of submerged macrophytes on phytoplankton in shallow freshwater lakes. In: Jeppesen E, Søndergaard M, Søndergaard M, Christoffersen K (eds) The structuring role of macrophytes in lakes. Springer, New York, pp 114–132Google Scholar
  46. Taguchi T, Utsuki T, Sano T (2017) Invaded fish research in autumn 2015. In Report of Shiga Prefectural Fisheries Experiment Station H27 (2015). Hikone (in Japanese) Google Scholar
  47. Wang S, Zhang L, Ni L, Zhao H, Jiao L, Yang S, Guo L, Shen J (2015) Ecological degeneration of the Erhai Lake and prevention measures. Environ Earth Sci 74:3839–3847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yamamuro M, Kamiya H, Ishitobi T (2014) Water quality before and after the break out of submerged plants at Lake Shinji. Jpn J Limnol 75:99–105 (in Japanese with English abstract) CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lake Biwa Environmental Research InstituteOtsuJapan
  2. 2.Lake Biwa MuseumKusatsuJapan
  3. 3.School of Environmental ScienceUniversity of Shiga PrefectureHikoneJapan

Personalised recommendations