Eleocharis mutata (L.) Roem. et Schult. subject to drawdowns in a tropical coastal lagoon, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Palma-Silva, Cleber; Albertoni, Edélti Faria; Esteves, Francisco de Assis


This investigation of the aquatic macrophyte Eleocharis mutata (L.) Roem. Et Schult. was carried out in Imboassica lagoon, a coastal lagoon in Macaé (22_500S; 44_420W), in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The sandbar separating this lagoon from the ocean has been opened several times for flood control and to allow the entrance of marine species of commercial interest. The barrier bar has been breached without appropriate planning, and the consequences of breaching for the lagoon ecosystem are poorly understood. These openings drastically affect the structure and functioning of the lagoon, but there are no data on possible effects on macrophyte communities. In this project, we obtained data on the increase of the distribution, biomass accumulation and production rates of E. mutata in the establishment of a new stand, in an effort to relate effects of sandbar breach events to the expansion of this species. During 22 months of sampling, 4 breachings of the sandbar occurred, and E. mutata increased its area of coverage by about 8 _ 104 m2, or 2.5% of the total area of the lagoon. The total aerial biomass reached a maximum of 1515 g DWm􀀀2, and the underground biomass reached 583 g DWm􀀀2. During the establishment and development of the stand, both dead and live aerial biomass and underground biomass tended to accumulate. Aerial net primary production (ANPP) was quite variable, reaching a maximum of 18.9 g DW m􀀀2 d􀀀1. We conclude that the sudden variations in water level caused by breaches in the sandbar were beneficial to the expansion of this species in Imboassica lagoon.

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