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Low phytoplankton biomass usually occurs in the presence of submerged macrophytes, possibly because submerged macrophytes enhance top-down control of phytoplankton by offering a refuge for efficient grazers like Daphnia against fish predation. However, other field studies also suggest that submerged macrophytes suppress phytoplankton in the absence of Daphnia. In order to investigate these mechanisms further, we conducted an outdoor mesocosm experiment to study the effect of submerged macrophytes (Elodea nuttallii) on phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass. The experiment combined four nutrient addition levels (0, 10, 100, and 1000 lg P l-1; N/P ratio: 16) with three macrophyte levels (no macrophytes, artificial macrophytes, and real macrophytes). We inoculated the tanks with species-rich inocula of phytoplankton and zooplank macrophyte treatment combinations. Compared to the treatment combinations without macrophytes, lower phytoplankton biomass occurred in the treatment combinations with real macrophytes at all the nutrient addition levels and in those with artificial macrophytes at all the nutrient levels except the highest. Significantly, higher abundances of plant-associated filter feeders (Simocephalus vetulus and Ceriodaphnia spp.) occurred in the treatment combinations with real and artificial macrophytes. Th
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ID: 270884