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Precise determination of aquatic plant wet mass using a salad spinner

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Bickel, T. O. and Perrett, C. (2016) Precise determination of aquatic plant wet mass using a salad spinner. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 73 (1). pp. 1-4. ISSN 0706-652X

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfas-2015-0274


The reliable assessment of macrophyte biomass is fundamental for ecological research and management of freshwater ecosystems. While dry mass is routinely used to determine aquatic plant biomass, wet (fresh) mass can be more practical. We tested the accuracy and precision of wet mass measurements by using a salad spinner to remove surface water from four macrophyte species differing in growth form and architectural complexity. The salad spinner aided in making precise and accurate wet mass with less than 3% error. There was also little difference between operators, with a user bias estimated to be below 5%. To achieve this level of precision, only 10–20 turns of the salad spinner are needed. Therefore, wet mass of a sample can be determined in less than 1 min. We demonstrated that a salad spinner is a rapid and economical technique to enable precise and accurate macrophyte wet mass measurements and is particularly suitable for experimental work. The method will also be useful for fieldwork in situations when sample sizes are not overly large.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Botany > Plant ecology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural ecology (General)
Live Archive:09 Feb 2016 01:55
Last Modified:13 Dec 2021 06:56

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