Phragmites australis is the major component of reed stands covering some 8200 ha along the shores of Lake Burullus (Egypt). We applied a published temperate zone reed model to assess growth and cycling of C and nutrients among the various organs of P. australis in this sub-tropical lake. We aim to quantify the role of reed stands for the C balance and nutrients cycling in the south Mediterranean wetland. Above-ground biomass was 3.5 times higher than the below-ground biomass. Root biomass represented 13% of the total below-ground, while leaves and panicles represented 16 and 3% of the above-ground biomass, respectively. Remobilization from rhizomes (15%) and reallocation from leaves (1%) were of little importance as assimilated sources. Nutrients accumulation by total above-ground biomass ranged between 2.7 to 46.8 g m−2 yr−1 for P and K, respectively. We calculated a C sequestration rate of 38.4 g C m−2 yr−1 for the dead rhizomes in the sediments. This value stresses the importance of P. australis stands for C sequestration in Lake Burullus. Further, as much as 254 t P and 5527 t N could potentially be removed annually from Lake Burullus by harvesting P. australis at maximum total above-ground biomass.
Original languageEnglish
Journal publication date2010

ID: 331762