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Primary Production Dynamics of Two Dominant Macrophytes in Wular Lake, a Ramsar Site in Kashmir Himalaya

Keywords: aquatic macrophytes , organic matter , organic carbon , chlorophyll

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Abstract:

Growing season changes in the organic matter, organic carbon and chlorophyll content of the two dominant macrophytes, Nymphoides peltatum and Ceratophyllum demersum of Wular Lake, a Ramsar Site in Kashmir Himalaya were analysed during March- November 2011. The content of organic matter and organic carbon for Nymphoides peltatum were 114.1 g m-2 and 53.1 g C m-2 and Ceratophyllum demersum were 57.0 g m-2 and 26.4 g C m-2. Chlorophyll A (Chl a) and chlorophyll A+B (Chl a+b) pigments ranged from 1.75 mg g-1 (Chl a) and 2.1mg g-1 (Chl a+b) in Nymphoides peltatum to 4.41 mg g-1 (Chl a) and 5.69 mg g-1 (Chl a+b) in Ceratophyllum demersum. In full leaf out, the latter aquatic plants exceeded 15-20% coverage of the open water surface.Ceratophyllum demersum and Nymphoides peltatum achieved maximum growth in June and August respectively, but significant differences in their growth dynamics was observed. At the end of the vegetation period, these plants sink to the bottom and decompose.

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