Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
After a series of navigation dams were constructed in the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in the 1930s, aquatic vegetation flourished. Its distribution, however, has fluctuated drastically in the 1980s and 1990s. As the navigation system ages, the fate of this important ecosystm component is a growing concern. The objective of the project is to annually track the population dynamics of submersed aquatic vegetation to determine long-term trends in 32 backwater areas.
These areas are important fish and wildlife habitats because of the abundance of submersed aquatic vegetation. The presence or absence of information for individual species was recorded at 15-m intervals along permanent transects. The status of each species is measured as the percent frequency of presence among all the sites investigated in each backwater area. The study began in 1991 and was completed in September 2000.
Principal Investigator: Yao Yin