Center Stage: The crucial role of macrophytes in regulating trophic interactions in shallow lake wetlands

  • Burks R
  • Mulderij G
  • Gross E
 et al. 
  • 62


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


Hydrophilic, or water-loving, macrophytes characterize wetland ecosystems, indicating prerequisite conditions of hydric soils and sufficient hydrology. The presence of such macrophytes is a key descriptor in multiple wetland definitions (Lewis 2001a) and macrophytes may be further used to actually describe particular types of wetlands, such as cattail marshes. Macrophytes contribute significant biomass to wetland systems and represent a critical component of wetland biogeochemistry as primary producers and drivers of organic matter cycling within aquatic systems. In this chapter, we argue that macrophytes occupy the center of trophic interactions in shallow lakes, influencing outcomes through structural, behavioral and chemical interactions. We define shallow lakes as permanently flooded wetlands that often contain submerged or floating macrophytes and that may be surrounded by emergent vegetation (i.e. marshy habitat). Shallow remains a relative term in limnology circles, but typically is less than 3m average depth, such that macrophytes can fill a substantial portion of the water column and stratification is neither predictable nor long-term.Such systems may be termed lakes,ponds or wetlands, depending on their size and the ecological context.Macrophytes may regulate trophic interactions in ephemeral systems without permanent inundation.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Life Sciences

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in


  • Romi L Burks

  • Gabi Mulderij

  • Elisabeth Gross

  • Iwan Jones

  • Lene Jacobsen

  • Eerik Jeppesen

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free