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Distribution and Biomass Allocation in Relation to Depth of Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus) in the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

  • John D. Madsen (a1), Ryan M. Wersal (a2) and Michelle D. Marko (a3)


The Detroit Lakes chain of lakes consists of five basins in northwest Minnesota adjacent to the town of Detroit Lakes. Flowering rush has been established in these basins since the 1960s. We evaluated the distribution of flowering rush in the five basins using a point intercept method, with 830 points distributed in a grid with points 150 m apart. These data were analyzed to determine whether invasive and native species frequencies were different between 2010 and 2011. We also assessed co-occurrence of flowering rush with native hardstem bulrush. The distribution of both flowering rush and hardstem bulrush was unchanged from 2010 to 2011. Flowering rush is invading areas with native plants and not establishing in unvegetated areas. Although flowering rush is found as deep as 4.5 m, it is most frequent at a depth of 1.3 m. We also examined the distribution of biomass and growth across a depth gradient from 0.3 to 3.0 m in 0.3-m intervals. At each 0.3-m interval, three biomass samples were collected at each of 10 transects for a total of 30 samples per depth interval or 300 biomass samples. At each point, leaf height, emergent leaf height, water depth, number of ramets, and number of rhizome buds were counted. Biomass samples were collected in a 0.018-m2 core sampler, sorted to shoots and belowground biomass. We found that flowering rush height and biomass peaked at 1.3 m and declined with greater depth. Bud density was negatively related to water depth. Bud density averaged 300 buds m–2, which was three times the average ramet density (100 ramets m–2).


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Distribution and Biomass Allocation in Relation to Depth of Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus) in the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

  • John D. Madsen (a1), Ryan M. Wersal (a2) and Michelle D. Marko (a3)


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