A comparative field study was carried out at two sites (a healthy site and a declining site) in a brackish wetland in northern Italy, with the objective to investigate the symptoms and the possible causes leading to reed (Phragmites australis) decline in this area. The declining reed plants presented many of the symptoms (clumping habit, smaller size, weaker culms, abnormal rhizome and root anatomy, low starch levels in rhizomes) comprised within the so-called reed die-back syndrome, frequently observed in central European wetlands but never recorded previously in (Sub)Mediterranean regions. Soil nutrient levels did not differ much between the two sites, with nitrate concentrations in the soil being even higher at the healthy site (1.54 μg g-1; die-back site 0.76 μg g-1). Hence, eutrophication did not seem to represent a major cause in determining reed decline in this area. High sulphate concentrations in saltwater associated with low soil redox potentials (-215 mV) due to waterlogging resulted in high soil sulphide concentrations. Concentrations of organic acids, especially acetic acid, did not differ remarkably between sites. High sulphide levels presumably accounted for abnormal anatomical formations (callus blocking aerenchyma channels), lower rates of net CO2 exchange and reduced reserve storage, observed at the die-back site. This was associated with a lower mechanical resistance of reed culms which accelerated reed mortality in the die-back areas. We concluded that high sulphide levels in permanently waterlogged soils may result in die-back of reed stands in Mediterranean wetlands. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Reed (Phragmites australis) decline in a brackish wetland in Italy

MARCHESINI, Roberta;GERDOL, Renato
2002

Abstract

A comparative field study was carried out at two sites (a healthy site and a declining site) in a brackish wetland in northern Italy, with the objective to investigate the symptoms and the possible causes leading to reed (Phragmites australis) decline in this area. The declining reed plants presented many of the symptoms (clumping habit, smaller size, weaker culms, abnormal rhizome and root anatomy, low starch levels in rhizomes) comprised within the so-called reed die-back syndrome, frequently observed in central European wetlands but never recorded previously in (Sub)Mediterranean regions. Soil nutrient levels did not differ much between the two sites, with nitrate concentrations in the soil being even higher at the healthy site (1.54 μg g-1; die-back site 0.76 μg g-1). Hence, eutrophication did not seem to represent a major cause in determining reed decline in this area. High sulphate concentrations in saltwater associated with low soil redox potentials (-215 mV) due to waterlogging resulted in high soil sulphide concentrations. Concentrations of organic acids, especially acetic acid, did not differ remarkably between sites. High sulphide levels presumably accounted for abnormal anatomical formations (callus blocking aerenchyma channels), lower rates of net CO2 exchange and reduced reserve storage, observed at the die-back site. This was associated with a lower mechanical resistance of reed culms which accelerated reed mortality in the die-back areas. We concluded that high sulphide levels in permanently waterlogged soils may result in die-back of reed stands in Mediterranean wetlands. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
2002
Fogli, S; Marchesini, Roberta; Gerdol, Renato
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1203593
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 54
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 45
social impact