Aquatic herbaceous macrophytes contribute significantly to the input carbon for the Amazon floodplain. These plants have large seasonal variations in areal coverage and high productivity. The present study estimates annual net primary production (NPP) of aquatic herbaceous macrophytes in a large lake on the eastern Amazon floodplain, assesses the sources and amount of uncertainty associated with these measures, and offers a comparison among the estimates of herbaceous macrophyte productivity in the Amazon region. Plant biomass accumulated during the rising water stage of the annual flood cycle, peaking at 2300 to 6100 g m−2 and decreasing later in the year. Annual net primary production was estimated to range from 2400 to 3500 g m−2 yr−1, with above water production between 650 and 1100 g m−2 yr−1, and below water production between 1700 and 2600 g m−2 yr−1. Echinochloa polystachya and Paspalum fasciculatum were the most productive species, followed by Paspalum repens, Hymenachne amplexicaulis, and Oryza perennis. The four main sources of uncertainty in the estimates were macrophyte taxa, location, sampling design, and lack of measurements of dead material loss.
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Vol. 29 • No. 2