Aquatic Plant Research > Understanding Aquatic Plants > Community Composition > Aquatic Plant Response to Land Use
Aquatic Plant Research
Aquatic Plant Response to Land Use
This statewide research project investigated the effects of land use on aquatic plants. Understanding how human activity impacts plant communities can help protect Wisconsin’s high quality lakes. Researchers found that lakes with developed watersheds have more non-native plant species and fewer of some groups of native species. Native plants that were impacted included water lilies and other floating-leaved plants, pondweeds, and isoetids. Development and impacts were greatest in southern Wisconsin, although some natural differences in lakes occurred between northern and southern Wisconsin as well. The findings suggested human activities on land as well as environmental variation affect aquatic plants, and laid the ground work for future studies to quantify the relative strength of natural, spatial, and human influences on aquatic plant communities.