Biological interactions in the co-occurrence of Eichhornia azurea and free-floating macrophytes - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v31i4.5577

Giuliani Grazyella Marques-Silva, Sidinei Magela Thomaz


The dynamic of plant communities is strongly influenced by biological interactions. We studied the effects of Eichhornia azurea on the growth of the free-floating macrophytes Eichhornia crassipes, Salvinia minima, Salvinia auriculata and Limnobium laevigatum. The experiments were carried out in three lakes of the upper Paraná river floodplain. We used 0.5 m side squares where these species grew for 11 days (S. auriculata and L. laevigatum) and 17 days (E. crassipes and S. minima), in the presence and absence of E. azurea. There were no significant differences between the relative growth rates of macrophytes growing in the absence and presence of E. azurea. The relative interaction index showed the existence of competition between E. azurea and L. laevigatum, and neutrality with the other three species. There was no evidence of facilitation related to the improvement of physico-chemistry characteristics that could enhance macrophytes growth. However, we do not discard a ‘mechanical’ facilitation between E. azurea, which offers protection against wind and waves, and the other species of macrophytes


positive interactions; free-floating macrophytes; facilitation; competition; plant communities

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ISSN 1679-9283 (impresso) e ISSN 1807-863X (on-line) e-mail:


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