Leachates and elemental ratios of macrophytes and benthic algae of an Andean high altitude wetland
FLORENCIA CUASSOLO; MARCELA BASTIDAS NAVARRO; ESTEBAN BALSEIRO; BEATRIZ MODENUTTI
JOURNAL OF LIMNOLOGY
CNR IST ITALIANO IDROBIOLOGIA
Año: 2011 vol. 70 p. 168 - 176
In wetlands, macrophytes and filamentous algae constitute an important carbon source for the total content of Dissolved OrganicMatter (DOM) of the environment. Mallín wetland meadows are highly diverse and rare habitats in Patagonia, that can becharacterized as wet meadows with a dense cover mainly dominated by herbaceous plants. We carried out a field study comparingelemental composition (C:N:P) of benthic algae (Spirogyra sp. and Zygnema sp.) and the submerged macrophyte (Myriophyllumquitense) from a high latitude wetland (local name: mallín). Besides we performed laboratory experiments in order to study the effectof ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the optical properties and nutrient release of DOM from leachates of these benthic algae andsubmerged macrophyte. The obtained results indicated that macrophyte leachates could contribute significantly to changes in theoptical characteristics of the wetlands while benthic algae contribute with leachates with low photoreactivity. Finally, nutrientrelease differs among plant species and season: benthic algae leachates release more P in spring, while M. quitense releases more ofthis nutrient in autumn. These results suggested that the different colonization may contribute differentially to the chemicalenvironment of the wetland.