Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Sub-Department

Earth and Environmental Resources Management

First Advisor

John Kupfer

Abstract

Aquatic plant communities in reservoirs can support biological and chemical processes that are typical of those found in more natural settings which may benefit reservoir managers and users through the associated enhancements that aquatic plants can bring to reservoir purposes. Reservoirs are anthropogenic components of our landscapes, that are often intended to provide services that are well outside of natural systems, and reservoir managers must ensure that these purposes are not compromised by aquatic plants. Through consideration of inherent plant attributes and the deliberate selection of the set of species to be fostered, beneficial plant communities can be established, but certain inherent reservoir attributes may determine which, if any, plant species are appropriate in each particular case. I introduced the submersed aquatic plant Vallisneria americana Michaux to four reservoirs with varied physical settings and management strategies and found that although several obstacles to successful introductions were common to all reservoirs in the study, in each reservoir a particular obstacle arose as most influential. I use the knowledge gained here to make recommendations to reservoir managers concerning plant introductions, specifically, I offer strategies to overcome the most substantial obstacles of each reservoir with the intent to aid plant establishment in these and any other similar settings.

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