, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 495–502 | Cite as

Effects of emergent macrophytes on dissolved oxygen dynamics in a prairie pothole wetland

  • Charles Rose
  • William G. Crumpton


Transect measurements, continuous monitoring, and synoptic surveys were used to examine patterns in light availability, temperature, and dissolved oxygen concentrations within and outside emergent vegetation zones in Goose Lake Marsh, a natural prairie pothole wetland in central Iowa. Water column light availability was less than 2% of ambient light in emergent vegetated areas due to canopy cover, small floating plants (lemnids), and plant litter. Water temperatures and dissolved oxygen concentrations were significantly lower and varied less diurnally in vegetated areas. Three habitat zones could be identified based on patterns in vegetation and dissolved oxygen: (1) a zone of dense emergent macrophytes providing significant submerged structure but with nearly or completely anoxic water, (2) a transition zone of sparse emergent macrophytes providing less structure but with more aerobic water, and (3) an open water zone with consistently acrobic water but with little submerged structure. Vegetation patterns are likely to control major aspects of wetland biogeochemistry and trophic dynamics, and wetlands should be viewed as complex mosaics of habitats with distinct structural and functional characteristics.

Key Words

prairie pothole marsh wetlands dissolved oxygen aerobic anaerobic emergent macrophyte litter accumulation nutrient cycling biogeochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Rose
    • 1
  • William G. Crumpton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyIowa State UniversityAmes

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