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  • 1 Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, St. István University H-2103 Gödöllő, Hungary
  • 2 Institute of Environmental Management, St. István University H-2103 Gödöllő, Hungary
  • 3 Central Transdanubian Water Authority Székesfehérvár, Hungary
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A widely described phenomenon all over Europe is that reed decline begins from greater water depths - i.e. clumping is more expressed at the open water fringe while stands towards the lakeshore are homogeneous and intact. To understand the possible background processes, the present paper examined the differences between the element concentrations of reed organs (root, rhizome, stem and leaf), and the substrate (i.e. sediment or soil) along water depth gradients in Lake Balaton, Hungary. Differences between the mineral compositions of reed organs and the substrate and the impact of water depth on element concentration of samples were investigated. Relations between water depth and element concentrations of substrate and plant organs and interelement correlations in the samples were also considered. In addition to other results, element concentrations provided indirect evidence for increasing hypoxia (anoxia) in the sediment under greater water depths possibly contributing to reed decline. Although, the greater water depth is associated with higher element concentrations in the substrate, the uptake of minerals in reed are impeded by anoxia. Towards the greater water depth, for instance, the higher N concentration of substrate was not associated with more N in leaves (even a slight decrease was observed). On the other hand, elements (e.g. Fe and S) with increasing availability in reduced state, reached high concentrations in reed leaves from greater water depth, which may also indicate the insufficient O2 level in the rhizosphere

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