Constitutive allelochemicals from Stratiotes aloides L. affect both biomass and community structure of phytoplankton
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The paper presents the results of a study on allelopathic effect of extracts from Stratiotes aloides on natural lake phytoplankton communities grown outdoor in 40 l containers under natural light conditions. The water and plants were taken from an oxbow lake in spring (when S. aloides plants were submerged) and in summer (when plants were floating on lake water surface). Water extracts were prepared from fresh healthy leaves obtained on both sampling occasions. Control containers were supplemented with N and P in amounts similar to those introduced to experimental containers with macrophyte extracts. That way the experimental set up excluded the possibility of phytoplankton limitation by nutrients. Under such conditions the extracts from S. aloides strongly reduced phytoplankton biomass measured as the concentration of chlorophyll a (from 370 to 141 mg chl. a m[^-3] in spring and from 266 to 50 mg chl. a m[^-3] in summer). The inhibition of phytoplankton growth was indirectly confirmed by higher concentrations of available nutrients in experimental versus control containers. The extracts affected also the spring phytoplankton community structure by selective inhibition of diatoms and, to a less extent, of green algae and Cryptophyceae. Similar response of phytoplankton biomass to extracts obtained from submerged and floating S. aloides might suggest that allelochemicals were the constitutive part of macrophyte tissue and their production was not iduced by competition between macrophyte and algae.
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