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Document Type

Research

Keywords

aquatic macrophytes, aquatic vascular plants, Iowa wetlands

Abstract

Conversion of wetlands to agricultural land during the settlement of Iowa has resulted in a significant decline in the total area of lake habitat in the state. This reduction in area, combined with the degradation of remaining sites, resulted in dramatic reductions in aquatic vascular plant populations associated with Iowa's natural lakes. While declines in plant species inhabiting fen, bog, seepage, prairie pothole, and marsh type wetlands have been extensively documented, few quantitative data exist for lake type wetlands. During the summer of 1996, a total of 86 natural lakes in Iowa were surveyed for aquatic vascular plants. Many of the lakes surveyed exhibited sparse populations of aquatic macrophytes and extremely low species diversities. Data were compared with research conducted in 1915 by Pammel for the Iowa State Highway Commission, and declines in species richness were noted for 12 of the 15 lakes compared. Possible causes for the decline in aquatic macrophytes in Iowa lakes are included.

Publication Date

June 1998

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

105

Issue

2

First Page

55

Last Page

60

Copyright

© Copyright 1998 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf