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TitleSpring stimulates leaf decomposition in moderately eutrophic streams
Author(s)Pereira, Ana
Trabulo, José
Fernandes, Isabel Rodrigues
Pascoal, Cláudia
Cássio, Fernanda
Duarte, Sofia Alexandra Ferreira
Leaf decomposition
Aquatic hyphomycetes
Issue dateJan-2017
JournalAquatic Sciences
CitationPereira A, Trabulo J, Fernandes I, Pascoal C, Cássio F, Duarte S. 2017. Spring stimulates leaf decomposition in moderately eutrophic streams. Aquatic Sciences 79: 197-207
Abstract(s)In forested headwater streams, decomposition of allochthonous organic matter is a fundamental process driven by aquatic microbes and invertebrate shredders. We examined how season and eutrophication affect leaf decomposition and the associated decomposer communities by immersing leaves of a late deciduous species (Quercus robur) in five streams in Portugal along a gradient of eutrophication in autumn and spring. We found hump-shaped relationships between leaf decomposition and total nitrogen and phosphorus in stream water in both seasons. Leaf decomposition and shredder biomass were higher during spring in streams with moderate levels of eutrophication. Fungal sporulation and biomass were stimulated at moderate levels of eutrophication and inhibited at low or high levels of eutrophication. Fungal assemblage composition shifted between seasons and along the gradient of eutrophication. Tricladium chaetocladium increased its contribution to total conidial production in spring, while Dimorphospora foliicola was dominant in the most eutrophic streams where Articulospora tetracladia was almost absent. Invertebrate shredders were the primary decomposers of leaves in streams with moderate levels of eutrophication, particularly in the warmest season. Although the presence of late deciduous plant species, such as oak, in the riparian corridors may help to mitigate food depletion to freshwater decomposers in spring, our results suggest that moderate eutrophication can accelerate decomposition further reducing litter standing stocks in the warmer seasons.
DescriptionAuthor's personal copy
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AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:DBio - Artigos/Papers

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