Phosphorus Sources for Aquatic Weeds: Water or Sediments?

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Science  29 Feb 1980:
Vol. 207, Issue 4434, pp. 987-989
DOI: 10.1126/science.207.4434.987


Nine common species of aquatic macrophytes took all their phosphorus from the sediments when grown in situ in both a mesotrophic and a mildly eutrophic bay. Even under hypertrophic conditions, the sediments contributed an average of 72 percent of all the phosphorus taken up during growth. These experiments unambiguously demonstrate for the first time that submergent macrophytes in nature over-whelmingly depend on the sediments for their phosphorus supply and characterize them as potential nutrient pumps to the open water.

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