The islands of Britain and Ireland have over 40 species or hybrids of pondweeds (genus Potamogeton). This diversity in pondweed is one of the highest in Europe with most European species being represented. Unfortunately local diversity and abundance of pondweeds have declined over the 20th Century, as a result of habitat destruction and pollution. The Upper Lough Erne region and The Broads are two areas of importance for the conservation of pondweed – but “what can we learn from these strongholds?” and “what measure could enhance their recovery nationally?” are questions we are trying to address part of the Lake BESS project. (Photo by Ambroise Baker: P. polygonifolius in full bloom).


6 thoughts on “Pondweeds

  1. My favourite pondweed is…Potamogeton coloratus! A beautifiul species which would have loved the swampy edges of the Broads in the past, but is now restricted to clean ditches in Broadland. I dont know of this species has been recorded in Upper Lough Erne?

    • Hi Carl,
      Actually it is rather rare there and in Northern Ireland generally speaking too. Potamogeton coloratus has been recorded at four locations in the Upper Lough Erne region but only 3 times since 1976, according to the Flora of Fermanagh. That’s one to search for this summer!

  2. As so many of the marsh dykes in the Broads are disconnected from the rivers and lakes and always will be due to land level change (unless there is a big and terrible flood), it will be worth us doing a couple of things firstly surveying the river connected fen dykes, which has never been done comprehensively, and thinking about any research requirements before we can move ahead with adaptive translocation of these key species. The next project perhaps?

    • Hi Andrea
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experience in the Broads. Would you like to write a guest post for this blog? It would be great to develop a bit more this point you are making and illustrate it with nice pictures!

      • Thanks Ambroise, I will have a go at this, please feel free to remind me if you don’t hear from me…

  3. Pingback: Back from the field! | Lake BESS

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