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Hydrological contingency : drying history affects aquatic microbial decomposition

Arroita, Maite and Flores, Lorea and Larrañaga, Aitor and Chauvet, Eric and Elosegi, Arturo Hydrological contingency : drying history affects aquatic microbial decomposition. (2018) Aquatic Sciences - Research Across Boundaries, 80 (3). 1-12. ISSN 1015-1621

(Document in English)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00027-018-0582-3


Climate change, land use intensification, and water abstraction magnify the frequency and severity of droughts but also result in totally unnatural hydrological patterns. Longer and more severe droughts slow down organic matter decomposition, whereas the effect of drying history, i.e. the specific sequence of different conditions to which organic matter is exposed, has seldom been addressed. Drying history could have important consequences for microbial communities colonizing and decomposing leaf litter in streams given the rapid fluctuations in microbial composition and processes. We studied whether the effects of drought-related impacts (stagnation, drying and both) on microbial activity and leaf litter decomposition are affected by the timing when peak stress (stagnation or drying) occurs, and whether the effect of the drying history is consistent among the three different stress types. In laboratory microcosms, we recreated areas with flowing water (aerated water), isolated pools with stagnant water (non-aerated water) and dry beds (dry microcosms). Combining these conditions and their sequence, we created nine treatments (ten with the control) differing in stress type (stagnation, drying, both) and timing of peak stress (early, middle, late), and measured fungal biomass, sporulation, microbial respiration, and microbial decomposition of alder leaf disks. The effects of drought-related stress conditions were not consistent among response vari- ables. However, disturbances were systematically more detrimental to decomposition in early stages, resulting in a lower fungal biomass and activity, and reduced microbial litter decomposition. These results suggest that the effects of stress on decomposition-associated variables depend not only on the intensity of the stress, but also on its timing, with early stress and its legacy effects having greatest impact on leaf litter decomposition.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-02019960
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)
French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > University of Montana - UM (USA)
Other partners > University of the Basque Country - UPV/EHU (SPAIN)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 14:11

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