Original Research

The recovery and dynamics of submerged aquatic macrophyte vegeta­tion in the Wilderness lakes, southern Cape

P. J. Weisser, A. K. Whitfield, C. M. Hall
Bothalia | Vol 22, No 2 | a851 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v22i2.851 | © 1992 P. J. Weisser, A. K. Whitfield, C. M. Hall | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 October 1992 | Published: 14 October 1992

About the author(s)

P. J. Weisser, National Botanical Institute, South Africa
A. K. Whitfield, J.L.B Smith Institute of Ichthyology, South Africa
C. M. Hall, Institute for Water Research, Rhodes University, South Africa

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Between 1979 and 1981, the submerged aquatic macrophyte vegetation in the Wilderness lakes died back significantly, and in some areas disappeared altogether. This study documents the senescent phase and describes the recovery of the plant populations between May 1982 and May 1983. In two lakes, namely Langvlei and Eilandvlei, the plant biomass approximately doubled between the winters of 1982 and 1983. Seasonal changes in species composition are documented and possible factors accounting for the collapse and recovery of the plant populations are discussed.


biomass; Characeae; fluctuations; macrophytes; monitoring; <i>Najas marina</i>; <i>Potamogeton pectinatus</i>. succession; vegetation dynamics; Wilderness lakes


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