, Volume 583, Issue 1, pp 183–193 | Cite as

Modeling interactions of submersed plant biomass and environmental factors in a stream using structural equation modeling

  • Nguyen Thanh Hung
  • Takashi Asaeda
  • Jagath Manatunge
Primary Research Paper


This study investigated the interactions of submersed plants with environmental factors using structural equation modeling (SEM) and evaluated the effect strength of respective factors in an aquatic ecosystem using a data set collected at a fourth order stream in Japan. A model that simultaneously examines the relative importance of factors of the system has developed. The investigated factors included plant biomass (Biomass) of submersed macrophytes (Potamogeton malaianus and Potamogeton oxyphyllus) and other environmental factors, i.e. water velocity and water depth (Hydraulic), pore water nitrogen (TNL), pore water phosphorus (TPL), sediment organic matter (Organic) and sediment particle size (Texture). The estimated model showed that the Biomass was negatively correlated with Hydraulic but positively correlated with Organic whilst TNL and TPL affected the Biomass with almost equal strength. The effects caused by Hydraulic to Texture were greater than the ones caused by Biomass. At the narrow ranges of water velocity (0–7 cm s−1) and shallow depth (0–35 cm), the effect of wash-away of Organic by Hydraulic were smaller than the retention effect of Organic by Biomass. These results provide more insights into interactions of the submersed macrophytes with environmental factors.


Flow velocity LISREL SEM Submersed macrophytes 



We would like to express our gratefulness to Dr. John D. Madsen (Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, USA) for the constructive discussion during the field investigation, Professor G. Wiegleb (Cottbus University, Germany) for the beneficial discussion while drafting the paper. We also would like to express our sincere thanks to Takuya Yamashita, Lalith Rajapakse and other members of the Engineering Ecology Laboratory of Saitama University for their assistance in the field and laboratory. Last but not least, we must admit that the comments and suggestions of the editor and reviewers of the journal have greatly contributed to the improvement and dissemination of this manuscript. This research was supported by grants from the Foundation of River and Watershed Management, and the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nguyen Thanh Hung
    • 1
  • Takashi Asaeda
    • 2
  • Jagath Manatunge
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Water Resources ResearchDong da, HanoiVietnam
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Science and Human EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitama-shi, SaitamaJapan

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