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Forest canopy cover determines invertebrate diversity and ecosystem process rates in depositional zones of headwater streams

De Nadaï-Monoury, Eve and Gilbert, Franck and Lecerf, Antoine Forest canopy cover determines invertebrate diversity and ecosystem process rates in depositional zones of headwater streams. (2014) Freshwater Biology, 59 (7). 1532-1545. ISSN 0046-5070

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fwb.12364


1. Previous studies of the ecological linkages between forest and headwater streams have focused primarily on patterns and processes in erosional habitats, typically riffles. Depositional zones trap large amounts of sediments and particulate organic matter, suggesting that they may be important for forest–stream linkages. 2. We studied the invertebrate benthos and two key ecological processes, surface sediment reworking and leaf litter breakdown, in the depositional zones of streams bordered by contrasting riparian vegetation. We compared three stream reaches, draining open canopy forest regenerating after recent clearcut harvesting, with reaches on three different streams bordered by older forests with closed canopies. We also assessed whether, and to what extent, forest canopy cover determined abiotic factors at the reach scale (physicochemistry of stream water) and patch scale (sediment properties). 3. Depositional zones in both types of stream harboured a taxonomically and functionally diverse invertebrate community, including efficient sediment reworkers and specialised shredders. Higher diversity was found in open canopy than in closed canopy streams, despite similarities in habitat morphology and sediment properties. 4. Water temperature and sediment reworking rate were higher in open canopy forest than in closed canopy forest. As rates of sediment reworking, adjusted for temperature, did not differ between forest types, temperature was probably a key factor linking the forest canopy to stream depositional zones. The rates of leaf litter breakdown sometimes varied substantially between streams, but no consistent forest effect was detected for this process. 5. Temperature-adjusted rates of surface sediment reworking and litter breakdown were positively correlated with the density of invertebrates that rework sediments and shredders, respectively. A relationship between these two ecological processes was found across depositional zones in closed canopy forest, but not in open canopy forest. 6. This study on depositional zones provides new evidence of the strong linkage between forest and headwater streams. By moderating stream summer temperature, riparian canopy cover has the potential to affect invertebrate metabolic rates and, indirectly, the intensity of surface sediment reworking. However, other factors, such as the quality and diversity of basal trophic resources, may also account for invertebrate diversity pattern across streams and the positive relationship between litter breakdown and sediment reworking in closed canopy forest.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Blackwell Publishing. The original PDF of the article can be found at Freshwater Biology http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/fwb.12364/pdf
HAL Id:hal-03466750
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)
Laboratory name:
French Ministry of Research - French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
Deposited On:10 Jun 2014 08:06

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