The relationship between habitat factors and aquatic macrophyte assemblages in the Danube River in Serbia


  • Dragana Vukov University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad
  • Miloš Ilić University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad
  • Mirjana Ćuk University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad
  • Ružica Igić University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad
  • Georg A Janauer University of Vienna


hydrophytes, connectivity, transparency, flow, sediment


Our objectives were to offer insight into the characteristics of the physical environment in the River Danube in Serbia; and to show the relationship between selected environmental factors and the composition and abundance of macrophyte species. The macrophyte survey method followed the European Standard EN 14184, applying Kohler’s five-level descriptive scale. Principal component analysis was carried out to examine the variation in aquatic vegetation, and to analyze the effect of environmental variables on the aquatic vegetation, redundancy analysis was used. To build a simpler model with fewer explanatory variables, yet sufficiently explaining species variability, forward selection of environmental variables was done. Our results confirmed that physical environmental factors significantly influence the establishment and structure of macrophyte vegetation, with the level of hydrological connectivity to the main river channel being the most important, followed by the transparency of the water column, sediment texture and water-flow velocity. In order to inspect the individual relation between best-fitted plant species and each of selected environmental variables, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients were calculated. We have distinguished plant species with preferences to specific combinations of analyzed factors. Our results provide a background for future, more specific studies on the macrophyte/habitat relationship.

Received: May 16, 2016; Accepted: June 21, 2016; Published online: October 31, 2016

How to cite: Vukov D, Ilić M, Ćuk M, Igić R, Janauer GA. The relationship between habitat factors and aquatic macrophyte assemblages in the Danube river in Serbia. Arch Biol Sci. 2017;69(3):427-37.


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Author Biographies

Dragana Vukov, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad

Department of Biology and Ecology

Miloš Ilić, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad

Department of Biology and Ecology

Mirjana Ćuk, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad

Department of Biology and Ecology

Ružica Igić, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Novi Sad

Department of Biology and Ecology

Georg A Janauer, University of Vienna

Department of Limnology and Bio-Oceanography


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How to Cite

Vukov D, Ilić M, Ćuk M, Igić R, Janauer GA. The relationship between habitat factors and aquatic macrophyte assemblages in the Danube River in Serbia. Arch Biol Sci [Internet]. 2017Aug.11 [cited 2022Jul.6];69(3):427-3. Available from:




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