Founder populations of Stuckenia pectinata in restored ponds originate from genetically diverse propagule pool: A case study of urban ponds in Brussels, Belgium

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Eutrophication and cyanobacteria blooms are considered major problems for the biodiversity and water quality of urban ponds. While biomanipulation techniques such as drawdown with fish removal have great potential to restore turbid ponds to a clearwater status, it remains difficult to predict if and how macrophytes will recover naturally. Here, we used individual genotyping and population genetics based on 20 nuclear microsatellite loci to investigate the recruitment and recolonization strategies of the submerged macrophyte Stuckenia pectinata (L.) Börner. More specifically, we compared the founder genetic diversity of recovering populations just after biomanipulation to the genetic diversity of spontaneous, contiguous populations that settled over an extended period of time and were within the same catchment. Our results showed that turbid ponds may contain a persistent propagule bank that allows for an immediate re-establishment of genetically diverse populations of S. pectinata once a desired clearwater state is restored. Therefore, biomanipulation without sediment removal proved to be successful for founding populations to become immediately integrated with their established populations, thus maintaining the overall diversity of this species within local areas. Additionally, our results demonstrated an excess of heterozygotes in established populations that may be caused by substantial drift in albeit small effective population sizes of this predominantly outbreeding species.
Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer103771
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftAquatic Botany
Volume193
DOI's
StatusPublished - jul 2024

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