Aquatic Plant Research > Scientific Data on Aquatic Plant Communities > Wisconsin Standard Method to Collect Aquatic Plant Data > Testing the Standard Method > Aquatic Plant Phenology
Aquatic Plant Research
Aquatic Plant Phenology
DNR Science Services studied lakes over time to understand natural variability in seasonal growth patterns of aquatic plants. They measured aquatic plant frequency and biomass of all plants present in two lakes every two weeks over the course of 1.5 years. This work shows when surveys are the most representative of the plant community, and defined the ideal sampling window for aquatic plants in southern WI to be mid-June through the end of September. In northern WI, the sampling window is early July through mid-August. Annual plants (those that sprout each year from seeds) will be completely missed if the survey is too early or late. Sampling for curly-leaf pondweed is best done during May and June. Researchers found that biomass peaks as late as October for some species. The current sampling protocol suggests surveys should be taken in early July - mid August; this work suggests this can be expanded for southern Wisconsin.