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Open-File Report 2014–1259

The Distribution of Submersed Aquatic Vegetation and Water Lettuce in the Fresh and Oligohaline Tidal Potomac River, 2007

By Sarah Hunter Campbell, Nancy B. Rybicki, and Edward R. Schenk

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.92 MB) Abstract

Surveys documenting the composition of species of submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) have been conducted in the Potomac River for decades. These surveys can help managers assess the proportion of native and exotic plants in the river or can be used to determine relationships between native and exotic plants, environmental conditions, and wildlife. SAV coverage increased from 2005 to 2007 throughout the fresh and oligohaline study area. The 2007 survey documented here determined that eleven species of SAV were present. The abundance of the exotic species Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla) was relatively low, and species diversity was relatively high compared to previous years. The survey also revealed a new population of the invasive, floating aquatic plant Pistia stratiotes (water lettuce). In 2007, water lettuce, the latest exotic aquatic plant to be found in the fresh to oligohaline portion of the Potomac River, was most abundant in Mattawoman Creek, Charles County, Maryland. However, it was not observed in the fresh to oligohaline portion of the Potomac River in the summer of 2008. An understanding of the distribution of SAV species and factors governing the abundance of native and invasive aquatic species is enhanced by long-term surveys.

First posted March 13, 2015

For additional information, contact:
U.S. Geological Survey
National Research Program, Eastern Region
432 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Campbell, S.H., Rybicki, N.B., and Schenk, E.R., 2015, The distribution of submersed aquatic vegetation and water lettuce in the fresh and oligohaline tidal Potomac River, 2007: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1259, 33 p.,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)






References Cited

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