Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 321142
Title Floating plant dominance as a stable state
Author(s) Scheffer, M.; Szabo, S.; Gragnani, A.; Nes, E.H. van; Rinaldi, S.; Kautsky, N.; Norberg, J.; Roijackers, R.M.M.; Franken, R.J.M.
Source Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 100 (2003)7. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 4040 - 4045.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0737918100
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2003
Keyword(s) sloten - ecosystemen - salvinia molesta - biodiversiteit - meren - nederland - zimbabwe - aquatische ecosystemen - ditches - ecosystems - salvinia molesta - biodiversity - lakes - netherlands - zimbabwe - aquatic ecosystems - shallow lakes - aquatic macrophytes - salvinia-molesta - long-term - shifts - vegetation - reduction - kariba
Categories Aquatic Ecology
Abstract The authors demonstrate that floating-plant dominance can be a self-stabilizing ecosystem state, which may explain its notorious persistence in many situations. Their results, based on experiments, field data, and models (in Dutch ditches and Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe), represent evidence for alternative domains of attraction in ecosystems
Invasion by mats of free-floating plants is among the most important threats to the functioning and biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems ranging from temperate ponds and ditches to tropical lakes. Dark, anoxic conditions under thick floating-plant cover leave little opportunity for animal or plant life, and they can have large negative impacts on fisheries and navigation in tropical lakes. Here, we demonstrate that floating-plant dominance can be a self-stabilizing ecosystem state, which may explain its notorious persistence in many situations. Our results, based on experiments, field data, and models, represent evidence for alternative domains of attraction in ecosystems. An implication of our findings is that nutrient enrichment reduces the resilience of freshwater systems against a shift to floating-plant dominance. On the other hand, our results also suggest that a single drastic harvest of floating plants can induce a permanent shift to an alternative state dominated by rooted, submerged growth forms.
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