Authors: SEZGİ ERSOY YILDIZ, AYSU GÜREŞEN, YELDA AKTAN TURAN
Abstract: Aquatic macrophytes are one of the key components of freshwater ecosystems and contribute to ecosystem functioning and environmental sustainability. They are assumed to be an ideal biomonitoring tool in long-term monitoring programs implemented by the EU Water Framework Directive due to their sensitivity to environmental factors. Therefore, this study focuses on the evaluation of the ecological status in Lake Sapanca using macrophyte composition and abundance in order to make future predictions on the health of aquatic ecosystems and to form effective management. Submerged macrophyte assemblages related to environmental parameters were investigated from February to November of 2017. A total of 12 submerged macrophyte species were recorded in the littoral zone of the lake. The main findings on the most dominant 7 species of this community indicated significant differences among stations and seasons. They also revealed that submerged macrophyte density was shaped in relation to environmental variables, particularly temperature and nutrients. Submerged macrophyte assemblages reached their highest species number and biomass value (5312 gm?2) in summer, while no species was recorded in winter. High biomass values of these species corresponded with lower macrophyte diversity. The macrophyte index results demonstrated that Lake Sapanca is at a critical level in terms of nutrient enrichment. More frequent observation of species such as Ceratophyllum demersum and Elodea canadensis, which indicated "massive" nutrient enrichment, revealed that the ecological status of the lake varies from meso- to eutrophic at the local level.
Keywords: Aquatic ecosystem, macrophyte index, ecological quality, Lake Sapanca
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