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Eugenija Kupcinskiene Habil

Eugenija Kupcinskiene Habil

Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, Lithuania

Title: Do riparian species like nitrogen?


Biography: Eugenija Kupcinskiene Habil


Statement of the problem: Nitrogen deposition data together with inland water parameters provide message that nitrogen load might affect riparian vegetation of Baltic States. There is much concern about eutrophication of the rivers due to various anthropogenic activities. Depending on species, reaction of plants might encompass a number of different strategies. Plant productivity firstly depends on processes ongoing in the leaves. Studies of riparian plant species usually refer on Ellenberg indicatory values or the other indirect external parameters. Till now data about plant leaf saturation with nitrogen remains poor. Present study is aimed at evaluation of nitrogen concentration among populations of riparian plant species of Lithuania.

Methodology and Theoretical orientation: Both, widely spread native and invasive species were selected (Figure). Depending on frequency of species occurrence, populations were sampled along main river basins in Lithuania: Nemunas, Venta, Lielupe, Baltic Seafront. Material was collected in 230 sites. Only leaf blades were used for analyses. Nitrogen concentration was determined by Kjeldahl method (project sponsored by Lithuania Research Council; SIT-02/2015). Nitrogen concentration data were related to the land use type (employing CORINE classification system), river size, intensity of agriculture, fragments of the rivers differing in their nature (natural or regulated).

Findings: Differencies in leaf nitrogen concentrations between populations were the smallest for Stuckenia pectinata and the largest for Lythrum salicaria. Leaf nitrogen concentration of selected species was not influenced by regulations in some rivers also did not depend on river size.

Conclusion and Significance: Among the tested plants the highest concentration was detected for invasive in Lithuania species Echinocystis lobata. It could be concluded that present level of nitrogen amounts, entering riparian ecosystems is big enough to cause spread of nitrophilous species.