Emergent Macrophytes Alter the Sediment Composition in a Small, Shallow Subtropical Lake: Implications for Methane Emission


Aquatic macrophytes in shallow lakes emit high levels of methane. We hypothesize that the presence of emergent aquatic macrophytes in an artificial shallow lake promotes important input of autochthonous organic matter (OM) in sediment and higher levels of methane emission via bubbles. Samplings were performed at three sites in a small, shallow subtropical lake: (1) one station in the limnetic region and (2) - (3) two stations in the littoral region ((2) inside and (3) outside aquatic macrophyte stands). A higher concentration of OM was observed at the macrophyte station, and within this site, a higher methane concentration was observed in the sediment. These results could explain the methane ebullition values at macrophyte sites. At the macrophyte station, methane emission via bubbles contributed 17% to 56% of the total methane emission; however, at the other stations, its contribution via bubbles, was lower than 1%. This research confirmed the importance of emergent macrophytes at Polegar Lake as a source of OM in sediment and methane emission via bubbles. Further, we could confirm the positive effects of temperature on methane emission, mainly by bubbles.

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Marinho, C. , Palma-Silva, C. , Albertoni, E. , Giacomini, I. , Barros, M. , Furlanetto, L. and Esteves, F. (2015) Emergent Macrophytes Alter the Sediment Composition in a Small, Shallow Subtropical Lake: Implications for Methane Emission. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 315-322. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.62036.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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