Understanding Constraints on Submersed Vegetation Distribution on the UMRS

April 30, 2021

In the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), there is a long-standing interest in restoring aquatic vegetation in areas where it has declined or disappeared. To better understand what constrains vegetation distribution, a key component of large river ecosystems, and inform ongoing efforts to restore submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV), Carhart et al. combined effects of water clarity, water level
fluctuation, and bathymetry to understand areas of the UMRS that are suitable for the establishment and persistence of SAV based on a 22-year dataset for total suspended solids (TSS), water surface elevation, and aquatic vegetation distribution. The results improve understanding of the structure and function of large river systems and may help to identify locations most and least likely to benefit from management and restoration efforts.