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Effect of acidification on leaf litter decomposition in benthic and hyporheic zones of woodland streams

Cornut, Julien and Clivot, Hugues and Chauvet, Eric and Elger, Arnaud and Pagnout, Christophe and Guérold, François Effect of acidification on leaf litter decomposition in benthic and hyporheic zones of woodland streams. (2012) Water Research, 46 (19). 6430-6444. ISSN 0043-1354

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2012.09.023


Anthropogenic acidification has deleterious effects on both structure and functioning of surface water ecosystems. This study examined how it may affect the leaf decomposition rate and the community structure and activity of decomposers in both benthic and hyporheic zones of five headwater streams along an acidification gradient from highly acidic (pH 4.6) to circumneutral (pH 7.4). Overall, responses to acidification in hyporheic zones were less pronounced, but followed the same pattern as in their benthic counterparts. Leaf decomposition was much faster in the circumneutral stream, both in the hyporheic and benthic zones (k = 0.0068 and 0.0534 d−1, respectively), than in the most acidic one (k = 0.0016 and 0.0055 d−1, respectively), and correlated well with the acidic gradient in both compartments. Interestingly, leaf litter decomposition was less affected by acidification in hyporheic compared to benthic compartments, likely due to the relatively low sensitivity of fungi, which were the main decomposers of buried coarse particulate organic matter. These results argue in favour of conserving hyporheic habitats in acidified streams as they can maintain matter and species fluxes that are essential to the ecosystem.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0043135412006665
HAL Id:hal-00936683
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Université de Lorraine (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:27 Jan 2014 10:28

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