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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Variation in hydrochory among lakes and streams: Effects of channel planform, roughness, and currents

Su, Xiaolei; Lind, Lovisa; Polvi, Lina E.; Nilsson, Christer


The configuration of channels in stream networks is vital for their connectivity, biodiversity, and metacommunity dynamics. We compared the capacity of three process domains-lakes, slow-flowing reaches, and rapids-to disperse and retain plant propagules by releasing small wooden cubes as propagule mimics during the spring flood and recording their final locations. We also measured the geomorphic characteristics (planform, longitudinal profile, cross-sectional morphology, and wood) of each process domain. The three process domains all differed in morphology and hydraulics, and those characteristics were important in shaping the transport capacity of mimics. On average, lakes retained more mimics than slow-flowing reaches but did not differ from the retainment of rapids. Living macrophytes were the most efficient element trapping mimics. In rapids and slow-flowing reaches, most trapped mimics remained floating, whereas in lakes, most mimics ended up on the banks. The decay curves of retention varied substantially among and within process domains. The results suggest that managers who rely on natural recovery of restored sites by means of plant immigration may benefit from understanding landscape patterns when deciding upon the location of restoration measures in stream networks.


connectivity; hydrochory; lakes; northern Sweden; process domains; propagule mimics; streams

Published in

2019, Volume: 12, number: 5, article number: e2091
Publisher: WILEY

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG6 Clean water and sanitation

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

    Publication identifier


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