Basics
Deepwater Plants of Lake Tahoe
Deepwater Plants
Action
Program
Each Unit (number)
VP16: Provide for the non-degradation of the natural qualities of any plant community that is uncommon to the Basin or of exceptional scientific, ecological, or scenic value. This threshold shall apply to the deep-water plants of Lake Tahoe.
Three indicators are used to assess the status of deepwater plant communities:
1) absolute and relative plant composition determined from (plant dry mass per unit area), 2) plant community production measured using change in dissolved oxygen with incubations in the laboratory, and 3) the depth and spatial extent of plant beds on the lake bottom as determined by divers.
This Indicator is reported in the following LT Info areas:
Accomplishments
Deep water plants chart.JPG
A dramatic decline in the occurrence of plants from shallow to deep waters during the last 50 years has occurred (top figure). The decline in plants likely is one factor contributing to the decline of endemic and native benthic invertebrates that utilize the plants for habitat (Caires et al., 2013). Recent surveys confirmed the presence of the deepwater plants. Locations indicate patchy and variable plant mass depending on the location within one year. These beds support endemic and native communities of invertebrates which are in general decline since measurements were made in the 1960s. Regular samples have not been collected during the evaluation period and it is not possible to differentiate those changes that may be expected as result of natural population dynamics from those that are the result of external disturbance.

No Subcategories for this Indicator.

Program Deep Water Plants Monitoring

Approach

The data used in this assessment was collected in 2008, 2009 and 2013 in an attempt to find endemic invertebrates and the deep water plants they depend on. Divers investigated the spatial extent and depth profiles of the only two known beds at Camp Richardson and the South Shore Mound during the 2013 survey. Routine monitoring is not currently underway for this indicator.

Partners

Associated Programs data not provided.