A synecological study of aquatic macrophyte plant communities was conducted across northern Idaho and western Montana during the summers of 1997, 1998, and 1999. A total of 111 natural and man-made water bodies were sampled based on a stratification of environmental variables thought to influence plant species distribution (i.e., elevation, landform, geology, and water body size). Plant species foliar cover data were used to develop a hierarchical, floristic-based community type classification with TWINSPAN and DECORANA software. Six planmergent (conspicuous portion of vegetative plant body on the water surface) and 24 submergent (vegetative plant body found primarily underwater) community types were identified. Multivariate analysis indicated that all community types displayed significant differences in plant species composition, and the Sorensons floristic similarity between communities averaged 10% for planmergent and 8% for submergent types. Canonical correspondence analysis was used to inspect relationships between abiotic factors and plant species abundance. Results of this analysis indicated some relationships between species distributions and abiotic factors; however, chance introduction of plant species to water bodies is a process considered to be equally important to the presence of the community types described.
Pierce, John R. and Jensen, Mark E.
"A classification of aquatic plant communities within the Nothern Rocky Mountains,"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 62
, Article 1.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol62/iss3/1