Jan 19, 2008

Elevated aluminium concentration in acidified headwater streams lowers aquatic hyphomycete diversity and impairs leaf-litter breakdown

Microbial Ecology
J M BaudoinPhilippe Rousselle


Aquatic hyphomycetes play an essential role in the decomposition of allochthonous organic matter which is a fundamental process driving the functioning of forested headwater streams. We studied the effect of anthropogenic acidification on aquatic hyphomycetes associated with decaying leaves of Fagus sylvatica in six forested headwater streams (pH range, 4.3-7.1). Non-metric multidimensional scaling revealed marked differences in aquatic hyphomycete assemblages between acidified and reference streams. We found strong relationships between aquatic hyphomycete richness and mean Al concentration (r = -0.998, p < 0.0001) and mean pH (r = 0.962, p < 0.002), meaning that fungal diversity was severely depleted in acidified streams. By contrast, mean fungal biomass was not related to acidity. Leaf breakdown rate was drastically reduced under acidic conditions raising the issue of whether the functioning of headwater ecosystems could be impaired by a loss of aquatic hyphomycete species.

Mentioned in this Paper

Acidification - ActCode
Fagus sylvatica
Principal Component Analysis

Related Feeds

Bioremediation (ASM)

Bioremediation is the treatment and removal of harmful pollutants or contaminants through the use of microorganisms. Discover the latest research here.