Jun 26, 2014

Effects of flow scarcity on leaf-litter processing under oceanic climate conditions in calcareous streams

The Science of the Total Environment
Aingeru MartínezJesús Pozo

Abstract

Although temporary streams represent a high proportion of the total number and length of running waters, historically the study of intermittent streams has received less attention than that of perennial ones. The goal of the present study was to assess the effects of flow cessation on litter decomposition in calcareous streams under oceanic climate conditions. For this, leaf litter of alder was incubated in four streams (S1, S2, S3 and S4) with different flow regimes (S3 and S4 with zero-flow periods) from northern Spain. To distinguish the relative importance and contribution of decomposers and detritivores, fine- and coarse-mesh litter bags were used. We determined processing rates, leaf-C, -N and -P concentrations, invertebrate colonization in coarse bags and benthic invertebrates. Decomposition rates in fine bags were similar among streams. In coarse bags, only one of the intermittent streams, S4, showed a lower rate than that in the other ones as a consequence of lower invertebrate colonization. The material incubated in fine bags presented higher leaf-N and -P concentrations than those in the coarse ones, except in S4, pointing out that the decomposition in this stream was driven mainly by microorganisms. Benthic macroinv...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

External Ear
Microorganism
Neuro-Oncological Ventral Antigen 2
Benthos
Brachiopoda
Echinogammarus
Water Movements
Calcium
Milium Cyst
Alnus glutinosa

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