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Sample records for affect stream ecosystems

  1. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  2. Toxins in transgenic crop byproducts may affect headwater stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Rosi-Marshall, E J; Tank, J L; Royer, T V; Whiles, M R; Evans-White, M; Chambers, C; Griffiths, N A; Pokelsek, J; Stephen, M L

    2007-10-01

    Corn (Zea mays L.) that has been genetically engineered to produce the Cry1Ab protein (Bt corn) is resistant to lepidopteran pests. Bt corn is widely planted in the midwestern United States, often adjacent to headwater streams. We show that corn byproducts, such as pollen and detritus, enter headwater streams and are subject to storage, consumption, and transport to downstream water bodies. Laboratory feeding trials showed that consumption of Bt corn byproducts reduced growth and increased mortality of nontarget stream insects. Stream insects are important prey for aquatic and riparian predators, and widespread planting of Bt crops has unexpected ecosystem-scale consequences. PMID:17923672

  3. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  4. Small but powerful: top predator local extinction affects ecosystem structure and function in an intermittent stream.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators' extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a 'mesopredator release', affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to 'mesopredator release', and also to 'prey release' despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem's structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers' extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been extirpated, to restore

  5. Small but Powerful: Top Predator Local Extinction Affects Ecosystem Structure and Function in an Intermittent Stream

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Lozano, Pablo; Verkaik, Iraima; Rieradevall, Maria; Prat, Narcís

    2015-01-01

    Top predator loss is a major global problem, with a current trend in biodiversity loss towards high trophic levels that modifies most ecosystems worldwide. Most research in this area is focused on large-bodied predators, despite the high extinction risk of small-bodied freshwater fish that often act as apex consumers. Consequently, it remains unknown if intermittent streams are affected by the consequences of top-predators’ extirpations. The aim of our research was to determine how this global problem affects intermittent streams and, in particular, if the loss of a small-bodied top predator (1) leads to a ‘mesopredator release’, affects primary consumers and changes whole community structures, and (2) triggers a cascade effect modifying the ecosystem function. To address these questions, we studied the top-down effects of a small endangered fish species, Barbus meridionalis (the Mediterranean barbel), conducting an enclosure/exclosure mesocosm experiment in an intermittent stream where B. meridionalis became locally extinct following a wildfire. We found that top predator absence led to ‘mesopredator release’, and also to ‘prey release’ despite intraguild predation, which contrasts with traditional food web theory. In addition, B. meridionalis extirpation changed whole macroinvertebrate community composition and increased total macroinvertebrate density. Regarding ecosystem function, periphyton primary production decreased in apex consumer absence. In this study, the apex consumer was functionally irreplaceable; its local extinction led to the loss of an important functional role that resulted in major changes to the ecosystem’s structure and function. This study evidences that intermittent streams can be affected by the consequences of apex consumers’ extinctions, and that the loss of small-bodied top predators can lead to large ecosystem changes. We recommend the reintroduction of small-bodied apex consumers to systems where they have been

  6. Urbanization affects stream ecosystem function by altering hydrology, chemistry, and biotic richness.

    PubMed

    Chadwick, Michael A; Dobberfuhl, Dean R; Benke, Arthur C; Huryn, Alexander D; Suberkropp, Keller; Thiele, John E

    2006-10-01

    Catchment urbanization can alter physical, chemical, and biological attributes of stream ecosystems. In particular, changes in land use may affect the dynamics of organic matter decomposition, a measure of ecosystem function. We examined leaf-litter decomposition in 18 tributaries of the St. Johns River, Florida, USA. Land use in all 18 catchments ranged from 0% to 93% urban which translated to 0% to 66% total impervious area (TIA). Using a litter-bag technique, we measured mass loss, fungal biomass, and macroinvertebrate biomass for two leaf species (red maple [Acer rubrum] and sweetgum [Liquidambar styraciflua]). Rates of litter mass loss, which ranged from 0.01 to 0.05 per day for red maple and 0.006 to 0.018 per day for sweetgum, increased with impervious catchment area to levels of approximately 30-40% TIA and then decreased as impervious catchment area exceeded 40% TIA. Fungal biomass was also highest in streams draining catchments with intermediate levels of TIA. Macroinvertebrate biomass ranged from 17 to 354 mg/bag for red maple and from 15 to 399 mg/bag for sweetgum. Snail biomass and snail and total invertebrate richness were strongly related to breakdown rates among streams regardless of leaf species. Land-use and physical, chemical, and biological variables were highly intercorrelated. Principal-components analysis was therefore used to reduce the variables into several orthogonal axes. Using stepwise regression, we found that flow regime, snail biomass, snail and total invertebrate richness, and metal and nutrient content (which varied in a nonlinear manner with impervious surface area) were likely factors affecting litter breakdown rates in these streams.

  7. Roles of benthic algae in the structure, function, and assessment of stream ecosystems affected by acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Smucker, Nathan J; Drerup, Samuel A; Vis, Morgan L

    2014-06-01

    Tens of thousands of stream kilometers worldwide are degraded by a legacy of acid loads, high metal concentrations, and altered habitat caused by acid mine drainage (AMD) from abandoned underground and surface mines. As the primary production base in streams, the condition of algal-dominated periphyton communities is particularly important to nutrient cycling, energy flow, and higher trophic levels. Here, we synthesize current knowledge regarding how AMD-associated stressors affect (i) algal communities and their use as ecological indicators, (ii) their functional roles in stream ecosystems, and (iii) how these findings inform management decisions and evaluation of restoration effectiveness. A growing body of research has found ecosystem simplification caused by AMD stressors. Species diversity declines, productivity decreases, and less efficient nutrient uptake and retention occur as AMD severity increases. New monitoring approaches, indices of biological condition, and attributes of algal community structure and function effectively assess AMD severity and effectiveness of management practices. Measures of ecosystem processes, such as nutrient uptake rates, extracellular enzyme activities, and metabolism, are increasingly being used as assessment tools, but remain in their infancy relative to traditional community structure-based approaches. The continued development, testing, and implementation of functional measures and their use alongside community structure metrics will further advance assessments, inform management decisions, and foster progress toward restoration goals. Algal assessments will have important roles in making progress toward improving and sustaining the water quality, ecological condition, and ecosystem services of streams in regions affected by the legacy of unregulated coal mining. PMID:26988317

  8. Implications for Ecosystem Services of Watershed Processes that affect the Transport and Transformations of Mercury in an Adirondack Stream Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, D. A.; Riva-Murray, K.; Bradley, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the health of humans and wildlife through the ingestion of methyl Hg. Mercury contamination of ecosystems originates from human activities such as mining, coal burning and other industrial emissions, and the use of Hg-containing products. Natural sources such as volcanic and geothermal emissions and the weathering of Hg-bearing minerals also contribute to Hg contamination, but are believed to be minor sources in most ecosystems. Various ecosystem disturbances including fires, forest harvesting, and the submergence of land by impoundment may also contribute to Hg ecosystem contamination by mobilizing stores that have previously originated from the sources described above. Mercury from a mix of regional and global emissions sources is transported in the atmosphere to remote landscapes that are distant from local emissions sources. The Adirondacks of New York State is a forested, mountainous region characterized by abundant lakes and streams, and is distant from local emissions sources. Recreational fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting are valued ecosystem services in this region. Here, we report on the relevance to ecosystem services of findings based on five years of Hg data collection of stream water, groundwater, invertebrates, and fish in the upper Hudson River basin in the central part of the Adirondack region. The New York State Dept. of Health has issued fish consumption advisories for the entire Adirondacks based on elevated levels previously measured in lakes and rivers of this region. Our work seeks improved understanding and models of the landscape sources and watershed processes that control the transformation of Hg to its methyl form (MeHg), the transport of MeHg to streams, and bioaccumulation of MeHg in aquatic food webs. Mean annual atmospheric Hg deposition was 6.3 μg/m2/yr during 2007-09, compared to mean annual filtered total Hg stream yields of 1.66 μg/m2/yr and filtered MeHg stream

  9. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B; Passy, Sophia I

    2013-09-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification,' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  10. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B.; Passy, Sophia I.

    2013-01-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  11. Wetlands serve as natural sources for improvement of stream ecosystem health in regions affected by acid deposition.

    PubMed

    Pound, Katrina L; Lawrence, Gregory B; Passy, Sophia I

    2013-09-01

    For over 40 years, acid deposition has been recognized as a serious international environmental problem, but efforts to restore acidified streams and biota have had limited success. The need to better understand the effects of different sources of acidity on streams has become more pressing with the recent increases in surface water organic acids, or 'brownification,' associated with climate change and decreased inorganic acid deposition. Here, we carried out a large scale multi-seasonal investigation in the Adirondacks, one of the most acid-impacted regions in the United States, to assess how acid stream producers respond to local and watershed influences and whether these influences can be used in acidification remediation. We explored the pathways of wetland control on aluminum chemistry and diatom taxonomic and functional composition. We demonstrate that streams with larger watershed wetlands have higher organic content, lower concentrations of acidic anions, and lower ratios of inorganic to organic monomeric aluminum, all beneficial for diatom biodiversity and guilds producing high biomass. Although brownification has been viewed as a form of pollution, our results indicate that it may be a stimulating force for biofilm producers with potentially positive consequences for higher trophic levels. Our research also reveals that the mechanism of watershed control of local stream diatom biodiversity through wetland export of organic matter is universal in running waters, operating not only in hard streams, as previously reported, but also in acid streams. Our findings that the negative impacts of acid deposition on Adirondack stream chemistry and biota can be mitigated by wetlands have important implications for biodiversity conservation and stream ecosystem management. Future acidification research should focus on the potential for wetlands to improve stream ecosystem health in acid-impacted regions and their direct use in stream restoration, for example, through

  12. Riparian deforestation, stream narrowing, and loss of stream ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Sweeney, Bernard W.; Bott, Thomas L.; Jackson, John K.; Kaplan, Louis A.; Newbold, J. Denis; Standley, Laurel J.; Hession, W. Cully; Horwitz, Richard J.

    2004-01-01

    A study of 16 streams in eastern North America shows that riparian deforestation causes channel narrowing, which reduces the total amount of stream habitat and ecosystem per unit channel length and compromises in-stream processing of pollutants. Wide forest reaches had more macroinvertebrates, total ecosystem processing of organic matter, and nitrogen uptake per unit channel length than contiguous narrow deforested reaches. Stream narrowing nullified any potential advantages of deforestation regarding abundance of fish, quality of dissolved organic matter, and pesticide degradation. These findings show that forested stream channels have a wider and more natural configuration, which significantly affects the total in-stream amount and activity of the ecosystem, including the processing of pollutants. The results reinforce both current policy of the United States that endorses riparian forest buffers as best management practice and federal and state programs that subsidize riparian reforestation for stream restoration and water quality. Not only do forest buffers prevent nonpoint source pollutants from entering small streams, they also enhance the in-stream processing of both nonpoint and point source pollutants, thereby reducing their impact on downstream rivers and estuaries. PMID:15381768

  13. Roles of Benthic Algae in the Structure, Function, and Assessment of Stream Ecosystems Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    EPA Science Inventory

    Tens of thousands of stream kilometers around the world are degraded by a legacy of environmental impacts and acid mine drainage (AMD) caused by abandoned underground and surface mines, piles of discarded coal wastes, and tailings. Increased acidity, high concentrations of metals...

  14. ALIENS IN WESTERN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The USEPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program conducted a five year probability sample of permanent mapped streams in 12 western US states. The study design enables us to determine the extent of selected riparian invasive plants, alien aquatic vertebrates, and some ...

  15. Methylmercury in diverse stream ecosystems across the United States (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, M. E.

    2009-12-01

    Mercury methylation, conversion of inorganic mercury (Hg) to methylmercury (MeHg), is an important biogeochemical process, resulting in MeHg bioaccumulation in fish that inhabit natural waters. Fish can accumulate high MeHg levels even in waters that receive Hg only through atmospheric deposition. The U.S. Geological Survey measured MeHg as part of a national survey that consisted of one-time sampling of 291 streams, and in detailed temporal studies of 10 streams covering a range of seasons and hydrologic conditions. Both studies spanned important gradients relative to the Hg cycle, including wet Hg deposition rate and wetland density. Both within regions of similar Hg atmospheric deposition, and among all streams nationally, wetland density was an important influence on MeHg in stream water and in fish. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the source of MeHg to streams is Hg methylation that occurs predominantly within wetlands and subsequent transport to the stream. Within streams, MeHg in stream water typically increases as streamflow and dissolved organic carbon increase. MeHg production within the stream channel, in streambed sediment, is measurable, but appears to be a minor contributor to MeHg in stream water. Implications of this work are that changes in Hg atmospheric deposition would likely produce the greatest changes in MeHg levels in fish in streams that drain a watersheds with a high density of wetlands. Other ecosystem disturbances, such as sulfate loading and wet and dry cycles, that affect Hg methylation will also likely have a greater impact in ecosystems with a higher density of wetlands in the watershed than in low-wetland-density ecosystems.

  16. Buried Streams and the Loss of Ecosystem Services in Urban Watersheds

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in streams is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of streams in stormwater pipes in urban watersheds. We predicted that stream burial suppresses the capacity of streams to retain nitrate (NO3-) by eliminating primary...

  17. Resource subsidies between stream and terrestrial ecosystems under global change.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Stefano; Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D; Marti, Eugenia

    2016-07-01

    Streams and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by permeable boundaries that are crossed by resource subsidies. Although the importance of these subsidies for riverine ecosystems is increasingly recognized, little is known about how they may be influenced by global environmental change. Drawing from available evidence, in this review we propose a conceptual framework to evaluate the effects of global change on the quality and spatiotemporal dynamics of stream-terrestrial subsidies. We illustrate how changes to hydrological and temperature regimes, atmospheric CO2 concentration, land use and the distribution of nonindigenous species can influence subsidy fluxes by affecting the biology and ecology of donor and recipient systems and the physical characteristics of stream-riparian boundaries. Climate-driven changes in the physiology and phenology of organisms with complex life cycles will influence their development time, body size and emergence patterns, with consequences for adjacent terrestrial consumers. Also, novel species interactions can modify subsidy dynamics via complex bottom-up and top-down effects. Given the seasonality and pulsed nature of subsidies, alterations of the temporal and spatial synchrony of resource availability to consumers across ecosystems are likely to result in ecological mismatches that can scale up from individual responses, to communities, to ecosystems. Similarly, altered hydrology, temperature, CO2 concentration and land use will modify the recruitment and quality of riparian vegetation, the timing of leaf abscission and the establishment of invasive riparian species. Along with morphological changes to stream-terrestrial boundaries, these will alter the use and fluxes of allochthonous subsidies associated with stream ecosystems. Future research should aim to understand how subsidy dynamics will be affected by key drivers of global change, including agricultural intensification, increasing water use and biotic

  18. Increasing donor ecosystem productivity decreases terrestrial consumer reliance on a stream resource subsidy.

    PubMed

    Davis, John M; Rosemond, Amy D; Small, Gaston E

    2011-11-01

    Because nutrient enrichment can increase ecosystem productivity, it may enhance resource flows to adjacent ecosystems as organisms cross ecosystem boundaries and subsidize predators in recipient ecosystems. Here, we quantified the biomass and abundance of aquatic emergence and terrestrial spiders in a reference and treatment stream that had been continuously enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus for 5 years. Because we previously showed that enrichment increased secondary production of stream consumers, we predicted that aquatic emergence flux would be higher in the treatment stream, subsequently increasing the biomass and abundance of terrestrial spiders. Those increases were predicted to be greatest for spiders specializing on aquatic emergence subsidies (e.g., Tetragnathidae). By adding a (15)N stable isotope tracer to both streams, we also quantified nitrogen flow from the stream into the riparian community. Emergence biomass, but not abundance, was higher in the treatment stream. The average body size of emerging adult insects and the relative dominance of Trichoptera adults were also greater in the treatment stream. However, spider biomass did not differ between streams. Spiders also exhibited substantially lower reliance on aquatic emergence nitrogen in the treatment stream. This reduced reliance likely resulted from shifts in the body size distributions and community composition of insect emergence that may have altered predator consumption efficiency in the treatment stream. Despite nutrient enrichment approximately doubling stream productivity and associated cross-ecosystem resource flows, the response of terrestrial predators depended more on the resource subsidy's characteristics that affected the predator's ability to capitalize on such increases.

  19. Resource subsidies between stream and terrestrial ecosystems under global change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, Stefano; Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D.; Marti Roca, Maria Eugenia

    2016-01-01

    Streams and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by permeable boundaries that are crossed by resource subsidies. Although the importance of these subsidies for riverine ecosystems is increasingly recognized, little is known about how they may be influenced by global environmental change. Drawing from available evidence, in this review we propose a conceptual framework to evaluate the effects of global change on the quality and spatiotemporal dynamics of stream–terrestrial subsidies. We illustrate how changes to hydrological and temperature regimes, atmospheric CO2 concentration, land use and the distribution of nonindigenous species can influence subsidy fluxes by affecting the biology and ecology of donor and recipient systems and the physical characteristics of stream–riparian boundaries. Climate-driven changes in the physiology and phenology of organisms with complex life cycles will influence their development time, body size and emergence patterns, with consequences for adjacent terrestrial consumers. Also, novel species interactions can modify subsidy dynamics via complex bottom-up and top-down effects. Given the seasonality and pulsed nature of subsidies, alterations of the temporal and spatial synchrony of resource availability to consumers across ecosystems are likely to result in ecological mismatches that can scale up from individual responses, to communities, to ecosystems. Similarly, altered hydrology, temperature, CO2 concentration and land use will modify the recruitment and quality of riparian vegetation, the timing of leaf abscission and the establishment of invasive riparian species. Along with morphological changes to stream–terrestrial boundaries, these will alter the use and fluxes of allochthonous subsidies associated with stream ecosystems. Future research should aim to understand how subsidy dynamics will be affected by key drivers of global change, including agricultural intensification, increasing water use and biotic

  20. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  1. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  2. Burial affects the biogeochemistry of headwater streams in a midwestern US metropolitan area - slides

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in stream networks is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of headwater streams in urban basins. Urban stream burial has only recently been recognized by ecologists as a regional environmental impact and little resea...

  3. Burial affects the biogeochemistry of headwater streams in a midwestern US metropolitan area

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in stream networks is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of headwater streams in urban basins. Urban stream burial has only recently been recognized by ecologists and little research has addressed the extent to whi...

  4. Predator-driven nutrient recycling in California stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Munshaw, Robin G; Palen, Wendy J; Courcelles, Danielle M; Finlay, Jacques C

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient recycling by consumers in streams can influence ecosystem nutrient availability and the assemblage and growth of photoautotrophs. Stream fishes can play a large role in nutrient recycling, but contributions by other vertebrates to overall recycling rates remain poorly studied. In tributaries of the Pacific Northwest, coastal giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) occur at high densities alongside steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and are top aquatic predators. We surveyed the density and body size distributions of D. tenebrosus and O. mykiss in a California tributary stream, combined with a field study to determine mass-specific excretion rates of ammonium (N) and total dissolved phosphorus (P) for D. tenebrosus. We estimated O. mykiss excretion rates (N, P) by bioenergetics using field-collected data on the nutrient composition of O. mykiss diets from the same system. Despite lower abundance, D. tenebrosus biomass was 2.5 times higher than O. mykiss. Mass-specific excretion summed over 170 m of stream revealed that O. mykiss recycle 1.7 times more N, and 1.2 times more P than D. tenebrosus, and had a higher N:P ratio (8.7) than that of D. tenebrosus (6.0), or the two species combined (7.5). Through simulated trade-offs in biomass, we estimate that shifts from salamander biomass toward fish biomass have the potential to ease nutrient limitation in forested tributary streams. These results suggest that natural and anthropogenic heterogeneity in the relative abundance of these vertebrates and variation in the uptake rates across river networks can affect broad-scale patterns of nutrient limitation.

  5. Predator-Driven Nutrient Recycling in California Stream Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Munshaw, Robin G.; Palen, Wendy J.; Courcelles, Danielle M.; Finlay, Jacques C.

    2013-01-01

    Nutrient recycling by consumers in streams can influence ecosystem nutrient availability and the assemblage and growth of photoautotrophs. Stream fishes can play a large role in nutrient recycling, but contributions by other vertebrates to overall recycling rates remain poorly studied. In tributaries of the Pacific Northwest, coastal giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) occur at high densities alongside steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and are top aquatic predators. We surveyed the density and body size distributions of D. tenebrosus and O. mykiss in a California tributary stream, combined with a field study to determine mass-specific excretion rates of ammonium (N) and total dissolved phosphorus (P) for D. tenebrosus. We estimated O. mykiss excretion rates (N, P) by bioenergetics using field-collected data on the nutrient composition of O. mykiss diets from the same system. Despite lower abundance, D. tenebrosus biomass was 2.5 times higher than O. mykiss. Mass-specific excretion summed over 170 m of stream revealed that O. mykiss recycle 1.7 times more N, and 1.2 times more P than D. tenebrosus, and had a higher N:P ratio (8.7) than that of D. tenebrosus (6.0), or the two species combined (7.5). Through simulated trade-offs in biomass, we estimate that shifts from salamander biomass toward fish biomass have the potential to ease nutrient limitation in forested tributary streams. These results suggest that natural and anthropogenic heterogeneity in the relative abundance of these vertebrates and variation in the uptake rates across river networks can affect broad-scale patterns of nutrient limitation. PMID:23520520

  6. Different cesium-137 transfers to forest and stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Masaru; Gomi, Takashi; Negishi, Junjiro N; Iwamoto, Aimu; Okada, Kengo

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of (137)Cs movement across different ecosystems is crucial for projecting the environmental impact and management of nuclear contamination events. Here, we report differential movement of (137)Cs in adjacent forest and stream ecosystems. The food webs of the forest and stream ecosystems in our study were similar, in that they were both dominated by detrital-based food webs and the basal energy source was terrestrial litter. However, the concentration of (137)Cs in stream litter was significantly lower than in forest litter, the result of (137)Cs leaching from litter in stream water. The difference in (137)Cs concentrations between the two types of litter was reflected in the (137)Cs concentrations in the animal community. While the importance of (137)Cs fallout and the associated transfer to food webs has been well studied, research has been primarily limited to cases in a single ecosystem. Our results indicate that there are differences in the flow of (137)Cs through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and that (137)Cs concentrations are reduced in both basal food resources and higher trophic animals in aquatic systems, where primary production is subsidized by a neighboring terrestrial ecosystem. PMID:26629645

  7. Different cesium-137 transfers to forest and stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Masaru; Gomi, Takashi; Negishi, Junjiro N; Iwamoto, Aimu; Okada, Kengo

    2016-02-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of (137)Cs movement across different ecosystems is crucial for projecting the environmental impact and management of nuclear contamination events. Here, we report differential movement of (137)Cs in adjacent forest and stream ecosystems. The food webs of the forest and stream ecosystems in our study were similar, in that they were both dominated by detrital-based food webs and the basal energy source was terrestrial litter. However, the concentration of (137)Cs in stream litter was significantly lower than in forest litter, the result of (137)Cs leaching from litter in stream water. The difference in (137)Cs concentrations between the two types of litter was reflected in the (137)Cs concentrations in the animal community. While the importance of (137)Cs fallout and the associated transfer to food webs has been well studied, research has been primarily limited to cases in a single ecosystem. Our results indicate that there are differences in the flow of (137)Cs through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and that (137)Cs concentrations are reduced in both basal food resources and higher trophic animals in aquatic systems, where primary production is subsidized by a neighboring terrestrial ecosystem.

  8. LINKING WATERSHED MANAGEMENT WITH STREAM ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reducing the loading of ’stressors‚ (pollutants) from watershed lands to streams and lakes is the concern of a broad range of environmental stakeholders—including local and state governments, utilities, farm collectives, construction firms—and even homeowners. Their adoption of E...

  9. Biodiversity, community structure and function of biofilms in stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Besemer, Katharina

    2015-12-01

    Multi-species, surface-attached biofilms often dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, where they contribute substantially to biogeochemical processes. The microbial diversity of natural biofilms is huge, and may have important implications for the functioning of aquatic environments and the ecosystem services they provide. Yet the causes and consequences of biofilm biodiversity remain insufficiently understood. This review aims to give an overview of current knowledge on the distribution of stream biofilm biodiversity, the mechanisms generating biodiversity patterns and the relationship between biofilm biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

  10. Stream ecosystems change with urban development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bell, Amanda H.; James, F. Coles; McMahon, Gerard

    2012-01-01

    The healthy condition of the physical living space in a natural stream—defined by unaltered hydrology (streamflow), high diversity of habitat features, and natural water chemistry—supports diverse biological communities with aquatic species that are sensitive to disturbances. In a highly degraded urban stream, the poor condition of the physical living space—streambank and tree root damage from altered hydrology, low diversity of habitat, and inputs of chemical contaminants—contributes to biological communities with low diversity and high tolerance to disturbance.

  11. Ecosystem Function in Appalachian Headwater Streams during an Active Invasion by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    PubMed Central

    Northington, Robert M.; Webster, Jackson R.; Benfield, Ernest F.; Cheever, Beth M.; Niederlehner, Barbara R.

    2013-01-01

    Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how the effects of canopy loss and nutrient leakage from terrestrial areas would translate into functional changes in streams draining affected watersheds. We addressed these questions in HWA-infested watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina. Specifically, we measured stream metabolism (gross primary production and ecosystem respiration) and nitrogen uptake from 2008 to 2011 in five streams across the Coweeta basin. Over the course of our study, we found no change to in-stream nutrient concentrations. While canopy cover decreased annually in these watersheds, this change in light penetration did not translate to higher rates of in-stream primary production during the summer months of our study. We found a trend towards greater heterotrophy within our watersheds, where in-stream respiration accounted for a much larger component of net ecosystem production than GPP. Additionally, increases in rhododendron cover may counteract changes in light and nutrient availability that occurred with hemlock loss. The variability in our metabolic and uptake parameters suggests an actively-infested ecosystem in transition between steady states. PMID:23613803

  12. Ecosystem function in Appalachian headwater streams during an active invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid.

    PubMed

    Northington, Robert M; Webster, Jackson R; Benfield, Ernest F; Cheever, Beth M; Niederlehner, Barbara R

    2013-01-01

    Forested ecosystems in the southeastern United States are currently undergoing an invasion by the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Previous studies in this area have shown changes to forest structure, decreases in canopy cover, increases in organic matter, and changes to nutrient cycling on the forest floor and soil. Here, we were interested in how the effects of canopy loss and nutrient leakage from terrestrial areas would translate into functional changes in streams draining affected watersheds. We addressed these questions in HWA-infested watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina. Specifically, we measured stream metabolism (gross primary production and ecosystem respiration) and nitrogen uptake from 2008 to 2011 in five streams across the Coweeta basin. Over the course of our study, we found no change to in-stream nutrient concentrations. While canopy cover decreased annually in these watersheds, this change in light penetration did not translate to higher rates of in-stream primary production during the summer months of our study. We found a trend towards greater heterotrophy within our watersheds, where in-stream respiration accounted for a much larger component of net ecosystem production than GPP. Additionally, increases in rhododendron cover may counteract changes in light and nutrient availability that occurred with hemlock loss. The variability in our metabolic and uptake parameters suggests an actively-infested ecosystem in transition between steady states.

  13. Dissolved Organic Matter and Emerging Contaminants in Urban Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaushal, S. S.; Findlay, S.; Groffman, P.; Belt, K.; Delaney, K.; Sides, A.; Walbridge, M.; Mayer, P.

    2009-05-01

    We investigated the effects of urbanization on the sources, bioavailability and forms of natural and anthropogenic organic matter found in streams located in Maryland, U.S.A. We found that the abundance, biaoavailability, and enzymatic breakdown of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP) increased in streams with increasing watershed urbanization suggesting that organic nutrients may represent a growing form of nutrient loading to coastal waters associated with land use change. Organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in urban streams were elevated several-fold compared to forest and agricultural streams. Enzymatic activities of stream microbes in organic matter decomposition were also significantly altered across watershed land use. Chemical characterization suggested that organic matter in urban streams originated from a variety of sources including terrestrial, sewage, and in-stream transformation. In addition, a characterization of emerging organic contaminants (polyaromatic cyclic hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides, and polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardents), showed that organic contaminants and dissolved organic matter increase with watershed urbanization and fluctuate substantially with changing climatic conditions. Elucidating the emerging influence of urbanization on sources, transport, and in-stream transformation of organic nutrients and contaminants will be critical in unraveling the changing role of organic matter in urban degraded and restored stream ecosystems.

  14. STREAMS TO RIVERS: THE NEXT GENERATION OF ECOSYSTEM MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The historical focus in aquatic ecosystems has been on sampling methods oriented toward surveys of wadeable streams or smaller rivers. However, to fully assess the condition of the nations waters, methods are needed for systems above and below this scale. Biological communities...

  15. In-stream net ecosystem metabolism differences across a glacial coverage gradient in southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nassry, M. Q.; Hood, E. W.; Scott, D.; Vermilyea, A.

    2010-12-01

    As glacier ice gives way to successional vegetation, streams located in glacier-containing watersheds receive decreased contributions from glacial meltwater and increased contributions from terrestrial landscapes. Aquatic communities in streams receiving varying amounts of glacial meltwater were compared during this research to determine the effect of changing inputs of glacial meltwater on net ecosystem metabolism (NEM). In particular, we tested the hypothesis that decreased inputs of glacier meltwater will result in increased NEM in coastal streams in southeast Alaska. Dissolved oxygen and temperature measurements were collected at 5-minute increments using multi-sensor probes for 48 hours at four study streams. Additionally, discharge and velocity measurements were collected along with surface water samples during each of three replicate study periods at all four streams. Single station diel curves of in-stream oxygen concentration and water temperature changes were generated to establish community respiration (CR24) and gross primary production (GPP) values. The study watersheds, all of which are adjacent to the Juneau Icefield, range in area from 23-158 km2 and in watershed glacial coverage from 0-40%. This research will provide new insights into how changes in runoff from rapidly thinning and receding glaciers in southeast Alaska will affect aquatic community metabolism in downstream ecosystems. Ultimately, this will provide a better understanding of the changing in-stream processing capabilities in watersheds affected by land cover changes resulting from glacial recession.

  16. Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rodrigo dos Santos; Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves; Gücker, Björn

    2013-03-01

    We investigated the impacts of effluent discharge from small flow-through fish farms on stream water characteristics, the benthic invertebrate community, whole-system nitrate uptake, and ecosystem metabolism of three tropical headwater streams in southeastern Brazil. Effluents were moderately, i.e. up to 20-fold enriched in particulate organic matter (POM) and inorganic nutrients in comparison to stream water at reference sites. Due to high dilution with stream water, effluent discharge resulted in up to 2.0-fold increases in stream water POM and up to 1.8-fold increases in inorganic nutrients only. Moderate impacts on the benthic invertebrate community were detected at one stream only. There was no consistent pattern of effluent impact on whole-stream nitrate uptake. Ecosystem metabolism, however, was clearly affected by effluent discharge. Stream reaches impacted by effluents exhibited significantly increased community respiration and primary productivity, stressing the importance of ecologically sound best management practices for small fish farms in the tropics.

  17. Impacts of fish farm pollution on ecosystem structure and function of tropical headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rodrigo dos Santos; Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves; Gücker, Björn

    2013-03-01

    We investigated the impacts of effluent discharge from small flow-through fish farms on stream water characteristics, the benthic invertebrate community, whole-system nitrate uptake, and ecosystem metabolism of three tropical headwater streams in southeastern Brazil. Effluents were moderately, i.e. up to 20-fold enriched in particulate organic matter (POM) and inorganic nutrients in comparison to stream water at reference sites. Due to high dilution with stream water, effluent discharge resulted in up to 2.0-fold increases in stream water POM and up to 1.8-fold increases in inorganic nutrients only. Moderate impacts on the benthic invertebrate community were detected at one stream only. There was no consistent pattern of effluent impact on whole-stream nitrate uptake. Ecosystem metabolism, however, was clearly affected by effluent discharge. Stream reaches impacted by effluents exhibited significantly increased community respiration and primary productivity, stressing the importance of ecologically sound best management practices for small fish farms in the tropics. PMID:23274449

  18. Organic carbon flow in a swamp-stream ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Mulholland, P.J.

    1981-01-01

    An annual organic carbon budget is presented for an 8-km segment of Creeping Swamp, an undisturbed, third-order swamp-stream in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina, USA. Annual input of organic carbon (588 gC/m/sup 2/) was 96% allochthonous and was dominated by leaf litter inputs (36%) and fluvial, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) inputs (31%). Although the swamp-stream was primarily heterotrophic, autochthonous organic carbon input, primarily from filamentous algae, was important during February and March when primary production/ecosystem respiration (P/R) ratios of the flooded portions were near one. Annual output of organic carbon via fluvial processes (214 gC/m/sup 2/), 95% as DOC, was 36% of total annual inputs, indicating that the swamp-stream segment ecosystem was 64% efficient at retaining organic carbon. Organic carbon dynamics in the Creeping Swamp segment were compared to those reported for upland stream segments using indices of organic matter processing suggested by Fisher (1977) and a loading potential index suggested here. Creeping Swamp, while loading at a high rate, retains a much larger portion of its organic carbon inputs than two upland streams. Despite the high degree of retention and oxidation of organic inputs to Creeping Swamp, there is a net annual fluvial export of 21 gC/m/sup 2/, mostly in the dissolved form. Watersheds drained by swamp-streams in the southeastern United States are thought to have large organic carbon exports compared to upland forested drainages, because the stream network covers a much greater proportion of the total watershed area.

  19. Evolution of a stream ecosystem in recently deglaciated terrain.

    PubMed

    Milner, Alexander M; Robertson, Anne L; Brown, Lee E; Sønderland, Svein Harald; McDermott, Michael; Veal, Amanda J

    2011-10-01

    Climate change and associated glacial recession create new stream habitat that leads to the assembly of new riverine communities through primary succession. However, there are still very few studies of the patterns and processes of community assembly during primary succession for stream ecosystems. We illustrate the rapidity with which biotic communities can colonize and establish in recently formed streams by examining Stonefly Creek in Glacier Bay, Alaska (USA), which began to emerge from a remnant glacial ice mass between 1976 and 1979. By 2002, 57 macroinvertebrate and 27 microcrustacea species had become established. Within 10 years of the stream's formation, pink salmon and Dolly Varden charr colonized, followed by other fish species, including juvenile red and silver salmon, Coast Range sculpin, and sticklebacks. Stable-isotope analyses indicate that marine-derived nitrogen from the decay of salmon carcasses was substantially assimilated within the aquatic food web by 2004. The findings from Stonefly Creek are compared with those from a long-term study of a similarly formed but older stream (12 km to the northeast) to examine possible similarities in macroinvertebrate community and biological trait composition between streams at similar stages of development. Macroinvertebrate community assembly appears to have been initially strongly deterministic owing to low water temperature associated with remnant ice masses. In contrast, microcrustacean community assembly appears to have been more stochastic. However, as stream age and water temperature increased, macroinvertebrate colonization was also more stochastic, and taxonomic similarity between Stonefly Creek and a stream at the same stage of development was <50%. However the most abundant taxa were similar, and functional diversity of the two communities was almost identical. Tolerance is suggested as the major mechanism of community assembly. The rapidity with which salmonids and invertebrate communities have

  20. Urban development results in stressors that degrade stream ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bell, Amanda H.; Coles, James F.; McMahon, Gerard; Woodside, Michael D.

    2012-01-01

    In 2003, eighty-three percent of Americans lived in metropolitan areas, and considerable population increases are predicted within the next 50 years. Nowhere are the environmental changes associated with urban development more evident than in urban streams. Contaminants, habitat destruction, and increasing streamflow flashiness resulting from urban development have been associated with the disruption of biological communities, particularly the loss of sensitive aquatic biota. Every stream is connected downstream to other water bodies, and inputs of contaminants and (or) sediments to streams can cause degradation downstream with adverse effects on biological communities and on economically valuable resources, such as fisheries and tourism. Understanding how algal, invertebrate, and fish communities respond to physical and chemical stressors associated with urban development can provide important clues on how multiple stressors may be managed to protect stream health as a watershed becomes increasingly urbanized. This fact sheet highlights selected findings of a comprehensive assessment by the National Water-Quality Assessment Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) of the effects of urban development on stream ecosystems in nine metropolitan study areas.

  1. Stream hydrology limits recovery of riparian ecosystems after wolf reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kristin N; Hobbs, N Thompson; Cooper, David J

    2013-04-01

    Efforts to restore ecosystems often focus on reintroducing apex predators to re-establish coevolved relationships among predators, herbivores and plants. The preponderance of evidence for indirect effects of predators on terrestrial plant communities comes from ecosystems where predators have been removed. Far less is known about the consequences of their restoration. The effects of removal and restoration are unlikely to be symmetrical because removing predators can create feedbacks that reinforce the effects of predator loss. Observational studies have suggested that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park initiated dramatic restoration of riparian ecosystems by releasing willows from excessive browsing by elk. Here, we present results from a decade-long experiment in Yellowstone showing that moderating browsing alone was not sufficient to restore riparian zones along small streams. Instead, restoration of willow communities depended on removing browsing and restoring hydrological conditions that prevailed before the removal of wolves. The 70-year absence of predators from the ecosystem changed the disturbance regime in a way that was not reversed by predator reintroduction. We conclude that predator restoration may not quickly repair effects of predator removal in ecosystems.

  2. Stream hydrology limits recovery of riparian ecosystems after wolf reintroduction

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Kristin N.; Hobbs, N. Thompson; Cooper, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Efforts to restore ecosystems often focus on reintroducing apex predators to re-establish coevolved relationships among predators, herbivores and plants. The preponderance of evidence for indirect effects of predators on terrestrial plant communities comes from ecosystems where predators have been removed. Far less is known about the consequences of their restoration. The effects of removal and restoration are unlikely to be symmetrical because removing predators can create feedbacks that reinforce the effects of predator loss. Observational studies have suggested that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park initiated dramatic restoration of riparian ecosystems by releasing willows from excessive browsing by elk. Here, we present results from a decade-long experiment in Yellowstone showing that moderating browsing alone was not sufficient to restore riparian zones along small streams. Instead, restoration of willow communities depended on removing browsing and restoring hydrological conditions that prevailed before the removal of wolves. The 70-year absence of predators from the ecosystem changed the disturbance regime in a way that was not reversed by predator reintroduction. We conclude that predator restoration may not quickly repair effects of predator removal in ecosystems. PMID:23390108

  3. Stream hydrology limits recovery of riparian ecosystems after wolf reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Kristin N; Hobbs, N Thompson; Cooper, David J

    2013-04-01

    Efforts to restore ecosystems often focus on reintroducing apex predators to re-establish coevolved relationships among predators, herbivores and plants. The preponderance of evidence for indirect effects of predators on terrestrial plant communities comes from ecosystems where predators have been removed. Far less is known about the consequences of their restoration. The effects of removal and restoration are unlikely to be symmetrical because removing predators can create feedbacks that reinforce the effects of predator loss. Observational studies have suggested that the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park initiated dramatic restoration of riparian ecosystems by releasing willows from excessive browsing by elk. Here, we present results from a decade-long experiment in Yellowstone showing that moderating browsing alone was not sufficient to restore riparian zones along small streams. Instead, restoration of willow communities depended on removing browsing and restoring hydrological conditions that prevailed before the removal of wolves. The 70-year absence of predators from the ecosystem changed the disturbance regime in a way that was not reversed by predator reintroduction. We conclude that predator restoration may not quickly repair effects of predator removal in ecosystems. PMID:23390108

  4. Impacts of Invasive Rusty Crayfish on Stream Ecosystems of the Upper Midwestern U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobeldyk, A. M.; Lamberti, G. A.

    2005-05-01

    Invasive species can have detrimental effects on structural characteristics of freshwater ecosystems, but relatively few studies have assessed ecosystem-level impacts of invasive species in streams. We studied the effects of invasive rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) on detritus processing and invertebrate and fish abundance in northern Wisconsin and Michigan, USA, streams. We hypothesized that rusty crayfish would increase the rate of detritus processing and reduce fish and invertebrate abundance due to their aggressiveness and competitive superiority for food and habitat. We measured sugar maple (Acer saccharum) decomposition rates in three reaches of a stream with differing densities of rusty crayfish, high (5.05/m2), intermediate (2.27/m2), and none (0/m2) using leaf bags excluding crayfish and open bags allowing crayfish access. We found that open bags decayed significantly faster (k=0.143) than crayfish excluded bags at all sites (k=0.079) (p=0.0005). The reach lacking crayfish had significantly higher densities of invertebrates (p=0.005). We also surveyed an additional 7 streams that contained or lacked rusty crayfish and found significantly higher fish abundance (p=0.019) and biomass (p=0.001) in streams lacking rusty crayfish. Rusty crayfish appear to indirectly affect detritus processing via negative effects on benthic invertebrates, and may have larger-scale impacts on fishes across streams.

  5. Dry Valley streams in Antarctica: Ecosystems waiting for water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKnight, Diane M.; Niyogi, D.K.; Alger, A.S.; Bomblies, A.; Conovitz, P.A.; Tate, C.M.

    1999-01-01

    An axiom of ecology is: 'Where there is water, there is life.' In dry valley ecosystems of Antarctica, this axiom can be extended to: 'Where there has been and will be water, there is life.' Stream communities in the dry valleys can withstand desiccation on an annual basis and also for longer periods - as much as decades or even centuries. These intact ecosystems, consisting primarily of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae, spring back to life with the return of water. Soil organisms in the dry valleys also have remarkable survival capabilities (Virginia and Wall 1999), emerging from dormancy with the arrival of water. Streams in the dry valleys carry meltwater from a glacier or ice-field source to the lakes on the valley floors and generally flow for 4-10 weeks during the summer, depending on climatic conditions. Many of these streams contain abundant algal mats that are perennial in the sense that they are in a freeze-dried state during the winter and begin growing again within minutes of becoming wetted by the first flow of the season. The algal species present in the streams are mainly filamentous cyanobacteria (approximately 20 species of the genera Phormidium, Oscillatoria, and Nostoc), two green algal species of the genus Prasiola, and numerous diatom taxa that are characteristic of soil habitats and polar regions. Algal abundances are greatest in those streams in which periglacial processes, acting over periods of perhaps a century, have produced a stable stone pavement in the streambed. This habitat results in a less turbulent flow regime and limits sediment scour from the streambed. Because dry valley glaciers advance and retreat over periods of centuries and millennia and stream networks in the dry valleys evolve through sediment deposition and transport, some of the currently inactive stream channels may receive flow again in the future. Insights- into the process of algal persistence and reactivation will come from long-term experiments that study the

  6. Boulder Creek: A stream ecosystem in an urban landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, Philip L.; Murphy, Sheila F.; Birkeland, Peter W.; Pitlick,; Barber, Larry B.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Raynolds, Robert G.H.

    2008-01-01

    The Boulder Creek Watershed, within the Front Range region of Colorado, is typical of many western watersheds because it is composed of a high-gradient upper reach mostly fed by snowmelt, a substantial change in gradient at the range front, and an urban corridor within the lower gradient section. A stream ecosystem within an urban landscape not only can provide water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural needs, but also can be utilized for recreation, esthetic enjoyment, and wastewater disposal. The purpose of this 26 km bicycle field trip is to explore the hydrology and geochemistry of Boulder and South Boulder Creeks and to discuss topics including flood frequency and hazards, aqueous geochemistry of the watershed, and potential impacts of invasive species and emerging contaminants on stream ecology.

  7. Riparian forest composition affects stream litter decomposition despite similar microbial and invertebrate communities.

    PubMed

    Kominoski, John S; Marczak, Laurie B; Richardson, John S

    2011-01-01

    Cross-boundary flows of energy and nutrients link biodiversity and functioning in adjacent ecosystems. The composition of forest tree species can affect the structure and functioning of stream ecosystems due to physical and chemical attributes, as well as changes in terrestrial resource subsidies. We examined how variation in riparian canopy composition (coniferous, deciduous, mixed) affects adjacent trophic levels (invertebrate and microbial consumers) and decomposition of organic matter in small, coastal rainforest streams in southwestern British Columbia. Breakdown rates of higher-quality red alder (Alnus rubra) litter were faster in streams with a greater percentage of deciduous than coniferous riparian canopy, whereas breakdown rates of lower-quality western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) litter were independent of riparian forest composition. When invertebrates were excluded using fine mesh, breakdown rates of both litter species were an order of magnitude less and were not significantly affected by riparian forest composition. Stream invertebrate and microbial communities were similar among riparian forest composition, with most variation attributed to leaf litter species. Invertebrate taxa richness and shredder biomass were higher in A. rubra litter; however, taxa evenness was greatest for T. heterophylla litter and both litter species in coniferous streams. Microbial community diversity (determined from terminal restriction fragment length polymorphisms) was unaffected by riparian forest or litter species. Fungal allele richness was higher than bacterial allele richness, and microbial communities associated with lower-quality T. heterophylla litter had higher diversity (allele uniqueness and richness) than those associated with higher-quality A. rubra litter. Percent variation in breakdown rates was mostly attributed to riparian forest composition in the presence of invertebrates and microbes; however, stream consumer biodiversity at adjacent trophic levels

  8. Ecohydrological Modeling of Food Webs in Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdul-Aziz, O. I.; Wilson, B. N.; Gulliver, J. S.

    2007-12-01

    Dynamic biological processes in streams and rivers are essential aspects of ecohydrology. Numerical modeling of river food webs provides a useful vehicle for gaining insights into the scaling, self-organization and critical responses of these biological processes. Existing modeling literature is mostly limited to food webs with two or three trophic levels applied to marine or lake ecosystems. However, river ecosystems are distinctively different. They have a characteristic shorter residence time. Natural drivers (e.g., watershed and channel hydrology and geomorphology) as well as direct anthropogenic activities in rivers (e.g., building dams and reservoirs) play a vital role in shaping river food webs. Of particular interests are the benthic and non-benthic zones that have different physical, chemical and biological compositions. The authors developed food web models to capture the long- term dynamics of the total as well as that of the benthic and non-benthic zones in an interactive manner by emphasizing hydrologic drivers along with other environmental and geomorphologic constraints. These models are applied to several floodplain streams and rivers in Minnesota.

  9. Effects of long-term nutrient additions on Arctic tundra, stream, and lake ecosystems: beyond NPP.

    PubMed

    Gough, Laura; Bettez, Neil D; Slavik, Karie A; Bowden, William B; Giblin, Anne E; Kling, George W; Laundre, James A; Shaver, Gaius R

    2016-11-01

    Primary producers form the base of food webs but also affect other ecosystem characteristics, such as habitat structure, light availability, and microclimate. Here, we examine changes caused by 5-30+ years of nutrient addition and resulting increases in net primary productivity (NPP) in tundra, streams, and lakes in northern Alaska. The Arctic provides an important opportunity to examine how ecosystems characterized by low diversity and low productivity respond to release from nutrient limitation. We review how responses of algae and plants affect light availability, perennial biotic structures available for consumers, oxygen levels, and temperature. Sometimes, responses were similar across all three ecosystems; e.g., increased NPP significantly reduced light to the substrate following fertilization. Perennial biotic structures increased in tundra and streams but not in lakes, and provided important new habitat niches for consumers as well as other producers. Oxygen and temperature responses also differed. Life history traits (e.g., longevity) of the primary producers along with the fate of detritus drove the responses and recovery. As global change persists and nutrients become more available in the Arctic and elsewhere, incorporating these factors as response variables will enable better prediction of ecosystem changes and feedbacks in this biome and others.

  10. Impacts of drought and crayfish invasion on stream ecosystem structure and function

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, Daniel D.

    2014-01-01

    Drought and seasonal drying can be important disturbance events in many small streams, leading to intermittent or isolated habitats. Many small streams contain crayfish populations that are often keystone or dominant species in these systems. I conducted an experiment in stream mesocosms to examine the effects of drought and potential ecological redundancy of a native and invasive crayfish species. I examined the effects of drought (drought or control) and crayfish presence (none, native crayfish Orconectes eupunctus or invasive crayfish Orconectes neglectus) on stream mesocosm structure and function (leaf breakdown, community metabolism, periphyton, sediment and chironomid densities) in a fully factorial design. Each mesocosm contained a deep and shallow section, and drought treatments had surface water present (5-cm depth) in deep sections where tiles and leaf packs were placed. Drought and crayfish presence did not interact for any response variable. Drought significantly reduced leaf breakdown, and crayfish presence significantly increased leaf breakdown. However, the native and invasive crayfish species did not differ significantly in their effects on leaf breakdown. Drought significantly reduced primary production and community respiration overall, whereas crayfish presence did not significantly affect primary production and community respiration. Neither drought nor crayfish presence significantly affected periphyton overall. However, drought significantly reduced autotrophic index (AI), and crayfish presence increased AI. Inorganic sediment and chironomid density were not affected by drought, but both were significantly reduced by crayfish presence. O. eupunctus reduced AI and sediment more than O. neglectus did. Neither drought nor crayfish species significantly affected crayfish growth or survival. Drought can have strong effects on ecosystem function, but weaker effects on benthic structure. Crayfish can have strong effects on ecosystem

  11. Continuous monitoring reveals multiple controls on ecosystem metabolism in a suburban stream.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecosystem metabolism is an important mechanism for nutrient retention in streams, yet few high studies have investigated temporal patterns in gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) using high frequency measurements. This is a potentially important oversig...

  12. Urban development and stream ecosystem health—Science capabilities of the U.S. Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reilly, Pamela A.; Szabo, Zoltan; Coles, James F.

    2016-04-29

    Urban development creates multiple stressors that can degrade stream ecosystems by changing stream hydrology, water quality, and physical habitat. Contaminants, habitat destruction, and increasing streamflow variability resulting from urban development have been associated with the disruption of biological communities, particularly the loss of sensitive aquatic biota. Understanding how algal, invertebrate, and fish communities respond to these physical and chemical stressors can provide important clues as to how streams should be managed to protect stream ecosystems as a watershed becomes increasingly urbanized. The U.S. Geological Survey continues to lead monitoring efforts and scientific studies on the effects of urban development on stream ecosystems in metropolitan areas across the United States.

  13. Effects of repeated salt pulses on ecosystem structure and functions in a stream mesocosm.

    PubMed

    Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Bundschuh, Mirco; Gutiérrez-Cánovas, Cayetano; Kefford, Ben J; Prat, Narcís; Trobajo, Rosa; Schäfer, Ralf B

    2014-04-01

    Rivers and streams affected by mining activities often receive short-term sharp salinity increases due to water-soluble stockpiled materials being washed into receiving water bodies. We conducted a mesocosm study to explore the response of structural (diatom and stream invertebrate communities) and functional descriptors (chlorophyll a concentration, fungal biomass and leaf decomposition) to repeated short salinity pulses (3h of duration, with nominal electrical conductivities of 5, 10 and 15 mS cm(-1)), mimicking the exposure pattern occurring at salt-mine affected rivers. The experiment was conducted in 12 artificial flow-through stream systems over 16 days. The effect of the salt pulses on the ecosystem structure and functioning did not fully match most of our initial hypotheses, with the community response being weaker than predicted. The diatom community was, however, dominated by salt-tolerant species throughout the experiment, showing no consistent response to the treatment. The invertebrate response was associated with statistically significant changes in community structure (i.e. abundance of the different taxa) but no statistically significant changes in taxa richness. The salt pulses affected some functional descriptors of the ecosystem: fungal biomass exhibited a unimodal response to treatment magnitude, algal growth (i.e. chl a biomass) was hampered with increasing conductivity and leaf decomposition was significantly reduced in the high treatment. PMID:24503334

  14. Effects of repeated salt pulses on ecosystem structure and functions in a stream mesocosm.

    PubMed

    Cañedo-Argüelles, Miguel; Bundschuh, Mirco; Gutiérrez-Cánovas, Cayetano; Kefford, Ben J; Prat, Narcís; Trobajo, Rosa; Schäfer, Ralf B

    2014-04-01

    Rivers and streams affected by mining activities often receive short-term sharp salinity increases due to water-soluble stockpiled materials being washed into receiving water bodies. We conducted a mesocosm study to explore the response of structural (diatom and stream invertebrate communities) and functional descriptors (chlorophyll a concentration, fungal biomass and leaf decomposition) to repeated short salinity pulses (3h of duration, with nominal electrical conductivities of 5, 10 and 15 mS cm(-1)), mimicking the exposure pattern occurring at salt-mine affected rivers. The experiment was conducted in 12 artificial flow-through stream systems over 16 days. The effect of the salt pulses on the ecosystem structure and functioning did not fully match most of our initial hypotheses, with the community response being weaker than predicted. The diatom community was, however, dominated by salt-tolerant species throughout the experiment, showing no consistent response to the treatment. The invertebrate response was associated with statistically significant changes in community structure (i.e. abundance of the different taxa) but no statistically significant changes in taxa richness. The salt pulses affected some functional descriptors of the ecosystem: fungal biomass exhibited a unimodal response to treatment magnitude, algal growth (i.e. chl a biomass) was hampered with increasing conductivity and leaf decomposition was significantly reduced in the high treatment.

  15. Assessing Stream Ecosystem Condition in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faustini, John M.; Kaufmann, Philip R.; Herlihy, Alan T.; Paulsen, Steven G.

    2009-09-01

    When the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in 1972, later amended by the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1977, it tasked the newly created U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the states, with periodically assessing the quality of U.S. waters and reporting on progress toward meeting the goals of the CWA. In subsequent decades, reviews by various governmental and nongovernmental organizations consistently have found available water quality data and reporting to be inadequate to evaluate the nation's progress [Shapiro et al., 2008]. In response to these concerns, in 1989 EPA's Office of Research and Development initiated the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) to develop and demonstrate scientific tools to monitor the status of, and trends in, U.S. aquatic resources and environmental stressors affecting them. Recent EPA-led efforts involve monitoring wadeable perennial streams (streams or rivers shallow enough to be wadeable during seasonal low flows), which make up an estimated 90% of the total length of all perennial flowing waters in the United States [EPA, 2006]. Selected results from the first national survey of these streams, the national Wadeable Streams Assessment (WSA) [EPA, 2006; Paulsen et al., 2008], illustrate how such surveys can provide critical information to guide management of this important resource. Nonmonitoring applications of data from the WSA and earlier regional surveys show the wide-ranging applicability of these rich data sets.

  16. Spatial and temporal effects of olive mill wastewaters to stream macroinvertebrates and aquatic ecosystems status.

    PubMed

    Karaouzas, Ioannis; Skoulikidis, Nikolaos T; Giannakou, Urania; Albanis, Triantafyllos A

    2011-12-01

    Olive mill wastewater (OMW) is one of the major and most challenging organic pollutants in olive oil production countries. However, the knowledge about the in-situ effects of olive mill wastewaters to lotic ecosystems and their benthic organisms is very limited. To resolve this, eight sampling sites were selected upstream and downstream the outflow of several olive mills to assess the spatial and temporal effects of OMW to stream macroinvertebrates and to ecological status of stream ecosystems. Biotic (macroinvertebrates) and abiotic (physicochemical, hydromorphological) data were monitored for two years thus following the biennial cycle of olive growth and production and hydrological variation (drought-wet years). The results of this study revealed the spatial and temporal structural deterioration of the aquatic community due to OMW pollution with consequent reduction of the river capacity for reducing the effects of polluting substances through internal mechanisms of self-purification. OMW, even highly diluted, had dramatic impacts on the aquatic fauna and to the ecological status of the receiving stream ecosystems. The organic load of the wastewater expressed as BOD(5), COD and TSS, substrate contamination (sewage bacteria) and distance from the mill outlet, were the most important factors affecting macroinvertebrate assemblages while the typology (i.e. slope, altitude) and hydrology of the stream site (i.e. mountainous-lowland) and the intensity and volume of the wastewater were the most important determinants of self-purification processes. As OMW are usually being discharged in small size streams that are not considered in the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC, there is a need for including such systems into monitoring and assessment schemes as they may significantly contribute to the pollution load of the river basin. Furthermore, guidelines to manage these wastes through technologies that minimise their environmental impact and lead to a sustainable use

  17. Effects of water removal on a Hawaiian stream ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinzie, R. A.; Chong, C.; Devrell, J.; Lindstrom, D.; Wolff, R.

    2006-01-01

    A 3-year study of Wainiha River on Kaua'i, Hawai'i, was carried out to determine the impact that water removal had on key stream ecosystem parameters and functions. The study area included a diversion dam for a hydroelectric plant that removes water at an elevation of 213 m and returns it to the stream about 6 km downstream at an elevation of 30 m. There were two high-elevation sites, one with undiverted flow and one with reduced flow, and two low-elevation sites, one with reduced flow and one with full flow restored. Monthly samples were taken of instream and riparian invertebrates and plants. When samples from similar elevations were compared, dewatered sites had lower concentrations of benthic photosynthetic pigments than full-flow sites, and benthic ash-free dry mass (AFDM) was higher at the two low-elevation sites regardless of flow. Benthic chlorophyll a (chl a) and AFDM were higher in summer months than in the winter. Benthic invertebrate abundance was highest at the full-flow, low-elevation site and benthic invertebrate biomass was highest at the full-flow, high-elevation site. Season had only marginal effects on abundance and biomass of benthic invertebrates. Diversity of benthic invertebrates was higher at the more-downstream sites. Abundance of drifting invertebrates was highest at the site above the diversion dam and generally higher in winter than in summer months. Biomass of drifting invertebrates was also highest at the above-dam site but there was little seasonal difference. Almost all parameters measured were lowest at the site just downstream of the diversion dam. The biotic parameters responded only weakly to flows that had occurred up to 1 month before the measurements were made. Flow, elevation, and season interact in complex ways that impact ecosystem parameters and functions, but water diversion can override all these environmental factors. ?? 2006 by University of Hawai'i Press All rights reserved.

  18. Nematomorph parasites indirectly alter the food web and ecosystem function of streams through behavioural manipulation of their cricket hosts.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sato, T.; Egusa, T.; Fukushima, K.; Oda, T.; Ohte, N.; Tokuchi, Naoko; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Kanaiwa, Minoru; Murakami, Isaya; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

    Nematomorph parasites manipulate crickets to enter streams where the parasites reproduce. These manipulated crickets become a substantial food subsidy for stream fishes. We used a field experiment to investigate how this subsidy affects the stream community and ecosystem function. When crickets were available, predatory fish ate fewer benthic invertebrates. The resulting release of the benthic invertebrate community from fish predation indirectly decreased the biomass of benthic algae and slightly increased leaf break-down rate. This is the first experimental demonstration that host manipulation by a parasite can reorganise a community and alter ecosystem function. Nematomorphs are common, and many other parasites have dramatic effects on host phenotypes, suggesting that similar effects of parasites on ecosystems might be widespread.

  19. MODELING MINERAL NITROGEN EXPORT FROM A FOREST TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM TO STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Terrestrial ecosystems are major sources of N pollution to aquatic ecosystems. Predicting N export to streams is a critical goal of non-point source modeling. This study was conducted to assess the effect of terrestrial N cycling on stream N export using long-term monitoring da...

  20. Whole ecosystem approaches for assessing the coupling of N and P cycles in small streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schade, J. D.; Thomas, S. A.; Seybold, E. C.; Drake, T.; Lewis, K.; MacNeill, K.; Zimov, N.

    2010-12-01

    The most pressing environmental problems faced by society are manifestations of changes in biogeochemical cycles. The urgency of mitigating these problems has brought into sharp focus the need for a stronger mechanistic understanding of the factors that control biogeochemical cycles and how these factors affect multiple elements. Our overarching goal is to assess the strength of coupling between carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles in small headwater streams, including streams draining small watersheds in Northern California and the East Siberian Arctic. We have used a range of whole ecosystem approaches, rooted in nutrient spiraling theory, including plateau and pulsed nutrient enrichment experiments at a range of N:P ratios in heterotrophic and autotrophic streams. We use these experiments to calculate changes in nutrient spiraling metrics in response to changes in absolute and relative supply of N and P, and we use these results to infer the strength of the linkage between N and P cycles. In all California study streams, ecological processes are N limited, and we have observed significant changes in the strength of N and P coupling depending on position along the stream network. In small heterotrophic streams, addition of N caused significant increases in P uptake, while P had little influence on N. In larger autotrophic streams, N and P were only weakly coupled, which we attributed to a shift towards dominance of uptake by algae rather than heterotrophic bacteria, which is associated with differences in cellular structures. In addition, we have observed a small but consistent reduction in P uptake at high N:P of supply in autotrophic streams, which we speculate may indicate a suppression of N fixers at high N supply. In the Arctic, we have observed less consistency in the response of streams to nutrient enrichment, with some streams showing very little change in N or P uptake with changes in supply N:P, and others showing a decrease in N uptake in response

  1. Effects of Consumer Interactions on Benthic Resources and Ecosystem Processes in a Neotropical Stream

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Michael C.; Binderup, Andrew J.; Zandonà, Eugenia; Goutte, Sandra; Bassar, Ronald D.; El-Sabaawi, Rana W.; Thomas, Steven A.; Flecker, Alexander S.; Kilham, Susan S.; Reznick, David N.; Pringle, Cathy M.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of consumers on their resources has been demonstrated in many systems but is often confounded by trophic interactions with other consumers. Consumers may also have behavioral and life history adaptations to each other and to co-occurring predators that may additionally modulate their particular roles in ecosystems. We experimentally excluded large consumers from tile periphyton, leaves and natural benthic substrata using submerged electrified frames in three stream reaches with overlapping consumer assemblages in Trinidad, West Indies. Concurrently, we assessed visits to (non-electrified) control frames by the three most common large consumers–primarily insectivorous killifish (Rivulus hartii), omnivorous guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and omnivorous crabs (Eudaniela garmani). Consumers caused the greatest decrease in final chlorophyll a biomass and accrual rates the most in the downstream reach containing all three focal consumers in the presence of fish predators. Consumers also caused the greatest increase in leaf decay rates in the upstream reach containing only killifish and crabs. In the downstream reach where guppies co-occur with predators, we found significantly lower benthic invertebrate biomass in control relative to exclosure treatments than the midstream reach where guppies occur in the absence of predators. These data suggest that differences in guppy foraging, potentially driven by differences in their life history phenotype, may affect ecosystem structure and processes as much as their presence or absence and that interactions among consumers may further mediate their effects in these stream ecosystems. PMID:23028865

  2. Effects of consumer interactions on benthic resources and ecosystem processes in a neotropical stream.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Michael C; Binderup, Andrew J; Zandonà, Eugenia; Goutte, Sandra; Bassar, Ronald D; El-Sabaawi, Rana W; Thomas, Steven A; Flecker, Alexander S; Kilham, Susan S; Reznick, David N; Pringle, Cathy M

    2012-01-01

    The effect of consumers on their resources has been demonstrated in many systems but is often confounded by trophic interactions with other consumers. Consumers may also have behavioral and life history adaptations to each other and to co-occurring predators that may additionally modulate their particular roles in ecosystems. We experimentally excluded large consumers from tile periphyton, leaves and natural benthic substrata using submerged electrified frames in three stream reaches with overlapping consumer assemblages in Trinidad, West Indies. Concurrently, we assessed visits to (non-electrified) control frames by the three most common large consumers-primarily insectivorous killifish (Rivulus hartii), omnivorous guppies (Poecilia reticulata) and omnivorous crabs (Eudaniela garmani). Consumers caused the greatest decrease in final chlorophyll a biomass and accrual rates the most in the downstream reach containing all three focal consumers in the presence of fish predators. Consumers also caused the greatest increase in leaf decay rates in the upstream reach containing only killifish and crabs. In the downstream reach where guppies co-occur with predators, we found significantly lower benthic invertebrate biomass in control relative to exclosure treatments than the midstream reach where guppies occur in the absence of predators. These data suggest that differences in guppy foraging, potentially driven by differences in their life history phenotype, may affect ecosystem structure and processes as much as their presence or absence and that interactions among consumers may further mediate their effects in these stream ecosystems. PMID:23028865

  3. Testing the field of dreams hypothesis: functional responses to urbanization and restoration in stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sudduth, Elizabeth B; Hassett, Brooke A; Cada, Peter; Bernhardt, Emily S

    2011-09-01

    As catchments become increasingly urban, the streams that drain them become increasingly degraded. Urban streams are typically characterized by high-magnitude storm flows, homogeneous habitats, disconnected riparian zones, and elevated nitrogen concentrations. To reverse the degradation of urban water quality, watershed managers and regulators are increasingly turning to stream restoration approaches. By reshaping the channel and reconnecting the surface waters with their riparian zone, practitioners intend to enhance the natural nutrient retention capacity of the restored stream ecosystem. Despite the exponential growth in stream restoration projects and expenditures, there has been no evaluation to date of the efficacy of urban stream restoration projects in enhancing nitrogen retention or in altering the underlying ecosystem metabolism that controls instream nitrogen consumption. In this study, we compared ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake kinetics in four stream restoration projects within urban watersheds to ecosystem functions measured in four unrestored urban stream segments and four streams draining minimally impacted forested watersheds in central North Carolina, U.S.A. All 12 sites were surveyed in June through August of 2006 and again in January through March of 2007. We anticipated that urban streams would have enhanced rates of ecosystem metabolism and nitrate uptake relative to forested streams due to the increases in nutrient loads and temperature associated with urbanization, and we predicted that restored streams would have further enhanced rates for these ecosystem functions by virtue of their increased habitat heterogeneity and water residence times. Contrary to our predictions we found that stream metabolism did not differ between stream types in either season and that nitrate uptake kinetics were not different between stream types in the winter. During the summer, restored stream reaches had substantially higher rates of nitrate uptake

  4. Effects of urban stream burial on nitrogen uptake and ecosystem metabolism: implications for watershed nitrogen and carbon fluxes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Urbanization has resulted in extensive burial and channelization of headwater streams, yet little is known about impacts on stream ecosystem functions critical for reducing downstream nitrogen pollution. To characterize the biogeochemical impact of stream burial, we measured NO3...

  5. Exposure of wood in floodplains affects its chemical quality and its subsequent breakdown in streams.

    PubMed

    del Campo, Rubén; Gómez, Rosa

    2016-02-01

    In stream ecosystems, coarse organic matter from the riparian vegetation, a key food resource, is often retained in the floodplains before reaching the channel. During floodplain exposure, organic matter can be affected by abiotic and biotic processes ("preconditioning"), which alter its quality and affect its subsequent decomposition in streams. We analyzed the effect of floodplain preconditioning on wood quality (lignin, C, N, P, K, among others), and its subsequent aquatic breakdown, paying special attention to microbial activity. We simulated preconditioned standard wooden sticks on one arid stream floodplain for 3 and 4 months, and then monitored their breakdown in three different streams, together with control (non-preconditioned) sticks. Preconditioning reduced lignin mass and C:N and lignin:N ratios, caused the leaching of soluble nutrients such as P and K, as well as N immobilization by microbes. These changes enhanced the breakdown of wood in the first week of immersion, but had no effect on breakdown rates after 4 months of incubation in the streams, although N immobilization was diminished. Our results suggest that terrestrial preconditioning could alter the role of wood as a long-lasting nutrients and energy source for freshwater ecosystem.

  6. Exposure of wood in floodplains affects its chemical quality and its subsequent breakdown in streams.

    PubMed

    del Campo, Rubén; Gómez, Rosa

    2016-02-01

    In stream ecosystems, coarse organic matter from the riparian vegetation, a key food resource, is often retained in the floodplains before reaching the channel. During floodplain exposure, organic matter can be affected by abiotic and biotic processes ("preconditioning"), which alter its quality and affect its subsequent decomposition in streams. We analyzed the effect of floodplain preconditioning on wood quality (lignin, C, N, P, K, among others), and its subsequent aquatic breakdown, paying special attention to microbial activity. We simulated preconditioned standard wooden sticks on one arid stream floodplain for 3 and 4 months, and then monitored their breakdown in three different streams, together with control (non-preconditioned) sticks. Preconditioning reduced lignin mass and C:N and lignin:N ratios, caused the leaching of soluble nutrients such as P and K, as well as N immobilization by microbes. These changes enhanced the breakdown of wood in the first week of immersion, but had no effect on breakdown rates after 4 months of incubation in the streams, although N immobilization was diminished. Our results suggest that terrestrial preconditioning could alter the role of wood as a long-lasting nutrients and energy source for freshwater ecosystem. PMID:26613519

  7. Nutrient recycling affects autotroph and ecosystem stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Ballantyne, Ford; Menge, Duncan N L; Ostling, Annette; Hosseini, Parviez

    2008-04-01

    Stoichiometric nutrient ratios are the consequence of myriad interacting processes, both biotic and abiotic. Theoretical explanations for autotroph stoichiometry have focused on species' nutrient requirements but have not addressed the role of nutrient availability in determining autotroph stoichiometry. Remineralization of organic N and P supplies a significant fraction of inorganic N and P to autotrophs, making nutrient recycling a potentially important process influencing autotroph stoichiometry. To quantitatively investigate the relationship between available N and P, autotroph N:P, and nutrient recycling, we analyze a stoichiometrically explicit model of autotroph growth, incorporating Michaelis-Menten-Monod nutrient uptake kinetics, Droop growth, and Liebig's law of the minimum. If autotroph growth is limited by a single nutrient, increased recycling of the limiting nutrient pushes autotrophs toward colimitation and alters both autotroph and environmental stoichiometry. We derive a steady state relationship between input stoichiometry, autotroph N:P, and the stoichiometry of organic losses that allows us to estimate the relative recycling of N to P within an ecosystem. We then estimate relative N and P recycling for a marine, an aquatic, and two terrestrial ecosystems. Preferential P recycling, in conjunction with greater relative P retention at the organismal and ecosystem levels, presents a strong case for the importance of P to biomass production across ecosystems.

  8. Cross-ecosystem impacts of stream pollution reduce resource and contaminant flux to riparian food webs.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Johanna M; Schmidt, Travis S; Walters, David M; Wanty, Richard B; Zuellig, Robert E; Wolf, Ruth E

    2014-03-01

    The effects of aquatic contaminants are propagated across ecosystem boundaries by aquatic insects that export resources and contaminants to terrestrial food webs; however, the mechanisms driving these effects are poorly understood. We examined how emergence, contaminant concentration, and total contaminant flux by adult aquatic insects changed over a gradient of bioavailable metals in streams and how these changes affected riparian web-building spiders. Insect emergence decreased 97% over the metal gradient, whereas metal concentrations in adult insects changed relatively little. As a result, total metal exported by insects (flux) was lowest at the most contaminated streams, declining 96% among sites. Spiders were affected by the decrease in prey biomass, but not by metal exposure or metal flux to land in aquatic prey. Aquatic insects are increasingly thought to increase exposure of terrestrial consumers to aquatic contaminants, but stream metals reduce contaminant flux to riparian consumers by strongly impacting the resource linkage. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the contaminant-specific effects of aquatic pollutants on adult insect emergence and contaminant accumulation in adults to predict impacts on terrestrial food webs. PMID:24689137

  9. Cross-ecosystem impacts of stream pollution reduce resource and contaminant flux to riparian food webs.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Johanna M; Schmidt, Travis S; Walters, David M; Wanty, Richard B; Zuellig, Robert E; Wolf, Ruth E

    2014-03-01

    The effects of aquatic contaminants are propagated across ecosystem boundaries by aquatic insects that export resources and contaminants to terrestrial food webs; however, the mechanisms driving these effects are poorly understood. We examined how emergence, contaminant concentration, and total contaminant flux by adult aquatic insects changed over a gradient of bioavailable metals in streams and how these changes affected riparian web-building spiders. Insect emergence decreased 97% over the metal gradient, whereas metal concentrations in adult insects changed relatively little. As a result, total metal exported by insects (flux) was lowest at the most contaminated streams, declining 96% among sites. Spiders were affected by the decrease in prey biomass, but not by metal exposure or metal flux to land in aquatic prey. Aquatic insects are increasingly thought to increase exposure of terrestrial consumers to aquatic contaminants, but stream metals reduce contaminant flux to riparian consumers by strongly impacting the resource linkage. Our results demonstrate the importance of understanding the contaminant-specific effects of aquatic pollutants on adult insect emergence and contaminant accumulation in adults to predict impacts on terrestrial food webs.

  10. Identifying Ecosystem Services of Rivers and Streams Through Content Analysis

    EPA Science Inventory

    While much ecosystem services research focuses on analysis such as mapping and/or valuation, fewer research efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. Ecosystem service monitoring and analysis efforts and communications ...

  11. The magnitude of lost ecosystem structure and function in urban streams and the effectiveness of watershed-based management (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smucker, N. J.; Detenbeck, N. E.; Kuhn, A.

    2013-12-01

    compared to streams with developed watersheds and no management practices in place. However, ecosystem measures at restored sites were still only 53% of those in minimally disturbed reference streams. Some of our ongoing work further examines how watershed development and riparian condition affect stream ecosystem functions by altering the sources and delivery of nutrients and carbon. Our results can help inform management priorities and expectations, and they emphasize the importance of implementing mindful development and protective actions in a watershed context, especially in watersheds near impervious cover thresholds. Continued research on linked terrestrial-aquatic systems, improved BMP tracking, and ongoing monitoring will be essential to conserving and restoring the mechanisms that sustain valued ecological attributes and ecosystem services of streams.

  12. Encouraging stormwater management using a reverse auction: potential to restore stream ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stormwater runoff is the primary mechanism by which urbanizing landscapes disrupt natural, stream ecosystems. Source control management has been demonstrated as an effective and cost-efficient method for reducing stormwater runoff; however, sufficiently widespread implementation...

  13. THE EFFECTS OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION ON NITROGEN PROCESSING IN AN URBAN MID-ATLANTIC PIEDMONT STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater pose human and ecological threats. The US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection and Resource Management are collaborating on...

  14. THE EFFECTS OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION ON NITROGEN PROCESSING IN AN URBAN MID-ATLANTIC PIEDMONT STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    Elevated nitrate levels in streams and groundwater pose human and ecological threats. The US EPA, USGS, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Baltimore County Dept. of Environmental Protection are collaborating on a multi-year study of the impacts of stream restoration on nitrogen...

  15. Importance of terrestrial arthropods as subsidies in lowland Neotropical rain forest stream ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Small, Gaston E.; Torres, Pedro J.; Schwizer, Lauren M.; Duff, John H.; Pringle, Catherine M.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of terrestrial arthropods has been documented in temperate stream ecosystems, but little is known about the magnitude of these inputs in tropical streams. Terrestrial arthropods falling from the canopy of tropical forests may be an important subsidy to tropical stream food webs and could also represent an important flux of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in nutrient-poor headwater streams. We quantified input rates of terrestrial insects in eight streams draining lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica. In two focal headwater streams, we also measured capture efficiency by the fish assemblage and quantified terrestrially derived N- and P-excretion relative to stream nutrient uptake rates. Average input rates of terrestrial insects ranged from 5 to 41 mg dry mass/m2/d, exceeding previous measurements of aquatic invertebrate secondary production in these study streams, and were relatively consistent year-round, in contrast to values reported in temperate streams. Terrestrial insects accounted for half of the diet of the dominant fish species, Priapicthys annectens. Although terrestrially derived fish excretion was found to be a small flux relative to measured nutrient uptake rates in the focal streams, the efficient capture and processing of terrestrial arthropods by fish made these nutrients available to the local stream ecosystem. This aquatic-terrestrial linkage is likely being decoupled by deforestation in many tropical regions, with largely unknown but potentially important ecological consequences.

  16. Plant ecology. Anthropogenic environmental changes affect ecosystem stability via biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Tilman, David; Isbell, Forest; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Reich, Peter B

    2015-04-17

    Human-driven environmental changes may simultaneously affect the biodiversity, productivity, and stability of Earth's ecosystems, but there is no consensus on the causal relationships linking these variables. Data from 12 multiyear experiments that manipulate important anthropogenic drivers, including plant diversity, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, fire, herbivory, and water, show that each driver influences ecosystem productivity. However, the stability of ecosystem productivity is only changed by those drivers that alter biodiversity, with a given decrease in plant species numbers leading to a quantitatively similar decrease in ecosystem stability regardless of which driver caused the biodiversity loss. These results suggest that changes in biodiversity caused by drivers of environmental change may be a major factor determining how global environmental changes affect ecosystem stability.

  17. Ecosystem engineering by invasive exotic beavers reduces in-stream diversity and enhances ecosystem function in Cape Horn, Chile.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Christopher B; Rosemond, Amy D

    2007-11-01

    Species invasions are of global significance, but predicting their impacts can be difficult. Introduced ecosystem engineers, however, provide an opportunity to test the underlying mechanisms that may be common to all invasive engineers and link relationships between changes in diversity and ecosystem function, thereby providing explanatory power for observed ecological patterns. Here we test specific predictions for an invasive ecosystem engineer by quantifying the impacts of habitat and resource modifications caused by North American beavers (Castor canadensis) on aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure and stream ecosystem function in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile. We compared responses to beavers in three habitat types: (1) forested (unimpacted) stream reaches, (2) beaver ponds, and (3) sites immediately downstream of beaver dams in four streams. We found that beaver engineering in ponds created taxonomically simplified, but more productive, benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Specifically, macroinvertebrate richness, diversity and number of functional feeding groups were reduced by half, while abundance, biomass and secondary production increased three- to fivefold in beaver ponds compared to forested sites. Reaches downstream of beaver ponds were very similar to natural forested sections. Beaver invasion effects on both community and ecosystem parameters occurred predominantly via increased retention of fine particulate organic matter, which was associated with reduced macroinvertebrate richness and diversity (via homogenization of benthic microhabitat) and increased macroinvertebrate biomass and production (via greater food availability). Beaver modifications to macroinvertebrate community structure were largely confined to ponds, but increased benthic production in beaver-modified habitats adds to energy retention and flow for the entire stream ecosystem. Furthermore, the effects of beavers on taxa richness (negative) and measures of

  18. Stream ecosystem response to limestone treatment in acid impacted watersheds of the allegheny plateau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McClurg, S.E.; Petty, J.T.; Mazik, P.M.; Clayton, J.L.

    2007-01-01

    Restoration programs are expanding worldwide, but assessments of restoration effectiveness are rare. The objectives of our study were to assess current acid-precipitation remediation programs in streams of the Allegheny Plateau ecoregion of West Virginia (USA), identify specific attributes that could and could not be fully restored, and quantify temporal trends in ecosystem recovery. We sampled water chemistry, physical habitat, periphyton biomass, and benthic macroinvertebrate and fish community structure in three stream types: acidic (four streams), naturally circumneutral (eight streams), and acidic streams treated with limestone sand (eight streams). We observed no temporal trends in ecosystem recovery in treated streams despite sampling streams that ranged from 2 to 20 years since initial treatment. Our results indicated that the application of limestone sand to acidic streams was effective in fully recovering some characteristics, such as pH, alkalinity, Ca2+, Ca:H ratios, trout biomass and density, and trout reproductive success. However, recovery of many other characteristics was strongly dependent upon spatial proximity to treatment, and still others were never fully recovered. For example, limestone treatment did not restore dissolved aluminum concentrations, macroinvertebrate taxon richness, and total fish biomass to circumneutral reference conditions. Full recovery may not be occurring because treated streams continue to drain acidic watersheds and remain isolated in a network of acidic streams. We propose a revised stream restoration plan for the Allegheny Plateau that includes restoring stream ecosystems as connected networks rather than isolated reaches and recognizes that full recovery of acidified watersheds may not be possible. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. Nitrate removal in stream ecosystems measured by 15N addition experiments: Total uptake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, R.O.; Tank, J.L.; Sobota, D.J.; Mulholland, P.J.; O'Brien, J. M.; Dodds, W.K.; Webster, J.R.; Valett, H.M.; Poole, G.C.; Peterson, B.J.; Meyer, J.L.; McDowell, W.H.; Johnson, S.L.; Hamilton, S.K.; Grimm, N. B.; Gregory, S.V.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Cooper, L.W.; Ashkenas, L.R.; Thomas, S.M.; Sheibley, R.W.; Potter, J.D.; Niederlehner, B.R.; Johnson, L.T.; Helton, A.M.; Crenshaw, C.M.; Burgin, A.J.; Bernot, M.J.; Beaulieu, J.J.; Arangob, C.P.

    2009-01-01

    We measured uptake length of 15NO-3 in 72 streams in eight regions across the United States and Puerto Rico to develop quantitative predictive models on controls of NO-3 uptake length. As part of the Lotic Intersite Nitrogen eXperiment II project, we chose nine streams in each region corresponding to natural (reference), suburban-urban, and agricultural land uses. Study streams spanned a range of human land use to maximize variation in NO-3 concentration, geomorphology, and metabolism. We tested a causal model predicting controls on NO-3 uptake length using structural equation modeling. The model included concomitant measurements of ecosystem metabolism, hydraulic parameters, and nitrogen concentration. We compared this structural equation model to multiple regression models which included additional biotic, catchment, and riparian variables. The structural equation model explained 79% of the variation in log uptake length (S Wtot). Uptake length increased with specific discharge (Q/w) and increasing NO-3 concentrations, showing a loss in removal efficiency in streams with high NO-3 concentration. Uptake lengths shortened with increasing gross primary production, suggesting autotrophic assimilation dominated NO-3 removal. The fraction of catchment area as agriculture and suburban-urban land use weakly predicted NO-3 uptake in bivariate regression, and did improve prediction in a set of multiple regression models. Adding land use to the structural equation model showed that land use indirectly affected NO-3 uptake lengths via directly increasing both gross primary production and NO-3 concentration. Gross primary production shortened SWtot, while increasing NO-3 lengthened SWtot resulting in no net effect of land use on NO- 3 removal. ?? 2009.

  20. Nitrate removal in stream ecosystems measured by 15N addition experiments: Total uptake

    SciTech Connect

    Mulholland, Patrick J; Hall, Robert; Tank, Jennifer; Sobota, Daniel; O'Brien, Jon; Webster, Jackson; Valett, H. Maurice; Dodds, Walter; Poole, Geoff; Peterson, Chris G.; Meyer, Judy; McDowell, William; Johnson, Sherri; Hamilton, Stephen; Gregory, Stanley; Grimm, Nancy; Dahm, Cliff; Cooper, Lee W; Ashkenas, Linda; Thomas, Suzanne; Sheibley, Rich; Potter, Jody; Niederlehner, Bobbie; Johnson, Laura; Helton, Ashley; Crenshaw, Chelsea; Burgin, Amy; Bernot, Melody; Beaulieu, Jake; Arango, Clay

    2009-01-01

    We measured uptake length of {sup 15}NO{sub 3}{sup -} in 72 streams in eight regions across the United States and Puerto Rico to develop quantitative predictive models on controls of NO{sub 3}{sup -} uptake length. As part of the Lotic Intersite Nitrogen Experiment II project, we chose nine streams in each region corresponding to natural (reference), suburban-urban, and agricultural land uses. Study streams spanned a range of human land use to maximize variation in NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration, geomorphology, and metabolism. We tested a causal model predicting controls on NO{sub 3}{sup -} uptake length using structural equation modeling. The model included concomitant measurements of ecosystem metabolism, hydraulic parameters, and nitrogen concentration. We compared this structural equation model to multiple regression models which included additional biotic, catchment, and riparian variables. The structural equation model explained 79% of the variation in log uptake length (S{sub Wtot}). Uptake length increased with specific discharge (Q/w) and increasing NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentrations, showing a loss in removal efficiency in streams with high NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration. Uptake lengths shortened with increasing gross primary production, suggesting autotrophic assimilation dominated NO{sub 3}{sup -} removal. The fraction of catchment area as agriculture and suburban-urban land use weakly predicted NO{sub 3}{sup -} uptake in bivariate regression, and did improve prediction in a set of multiple regression models. Adding land use to the structural equation model showed that land use indirectly affected NO{sub 3}{sup -} uptake lengths via directly increasing both gross primary production and NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration. Gross primary production shortened S{sub Wtot}, while increasing NO{sub 3}{sup -} lengthened S{sub Wtot} resulting in no net effect of land use on NO{sub 3}{sup -} removal.

  1. Restoring hydrological and biogeochemical ecosystem services in streams: how can science inform practice?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lautz, L.; Gordon, R.; Daniluk, T.; Zimmer, M. A.; Endreny, T. A.; McGrath, K.

    2014-12-01

    Society is increasingly recognizing the value of stream ecosystem functions, as evidenced by the enormous economic investment being made in stream restoration across the United States. Stream restoration projects have a variety of goals, including improvement in water quality and in-stream habitat. Popular approaches to restoration (such as Natural Channel Design, or NCD) aim to move degraded streams along a trajectory toward a dynamic ecological endpoint that represents natural conditions. Project designs primarily focus on channel form and function, but stream-groundwater exchanges of water and solutes are not typically a design consideration, although a primary component of fully functioning stream ecosystems. Here, we synthesize results from field investigations of the impact of NCD stream restoration on stream-groundwater exchanges by (1) comparing restored sites to reference reaches, which serve as the basis for the restoration design, (2) characterizing multiple restored sites to determine universal characteristics of streams restored by NCD, and (3) monitoring a stream pre- and post- restoration. NCD restoration creates hot spots of rapid hyporheic exchange upstream of channel spanning structures, with water fluxes across the bed interface up to an order of magnitude higher than at pre-restoration or reference reaches. Elevated flux rates result in short hyporheic residence times, which are not sufficiently long to generate net changes in nutrient concentrations. Hot spots of biogeochemical transformations are instead located around secondary bedforms, such as pool-riffle sequences, where gross water exchange rates are more moderate. Reference reaches show greater evidence of groundwater discharge to the hyporheic zone relative to restored reaches, although observations before and after restoration suggest NCD can modify the spatial extent of groundwater discharge zones. Gross water exchange across the streambed interface along restored reaches is a small

  2. Effects of urbanization and urban stream restoration on the physical and biological structure of stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Violin, Christy R; Cada, Peter; Sudduth, Elizabeth B; Hassett, Brooke A; Penrose, David L; Bernhardt, Emily S

    2011-09-01

    Streams, as low-lying points in the landscape, are strongly influenced by the stormwaters, pollutants, and warming that characterize catchment urbanization. River restoration projects are an increasingly popular method for mitigating urban insults. Despite the growing frequency and high expense of urban stream restoration projects, very few projects have been evaluated to determine whether they can successfully enhance habitat structure or support the stream biota characteristic of reference sites. We compared the physical and biological structure of four urban degraded, four urban restored, and four forested streams in the Piedmont region of North Carolina to quantify the ability of reach-scale stream restoration to restore physical and biological structure to urban streams and to examine the assumption that providing habitat is sufficient for biological recovery. To be successful at mitigating urban impacts, the habitat structure and biological communities found in restored streams should be more similar to forested reference sites than to their urban degraded counterparts. For every measured reach- and patch-scale attribute, we found that restored streams were indistinguishable from their degraded urban stream counterparts. Forested streams were shallower, had greater habitat complexity and median sediment size, and contained less-tolerant communities with higher sensitive taxa richness than streams in either urban category. Because heavy machinery is used to regrade and reconfigure restored channels, restored streams had less canopy cover than either forested or urban streams. Channel habitat complexity and watershed impervious surface cover (ISC) were the best predictors of sensitive taxa richness and biotic index at the reach and catchment scale, respectively. Macroinvertebrate communities in restored channels were compositionally similar to the communities in urban degraded channels, and both were dissimilar to communities in forested streams. The

  3. Interactions between geomorphology and ecosystem processes in travertine streams: Implications for decommissioning a dam on Fossil Creek, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marks, Jane C.; Parnell, Roderic; Carter, Cody; Dinger, Eric C.; Haden, G. Allen

    2006-07-01

    Travertine deposits of calcium carbonate can dominate channel geomorphology in streams where travertine deposition creates a distinct morphology characterized by travertine terraces, steep waterfalls, and large pools. Algae and microorganisms can facilitate travertine deposition, but how travertine affects material and energy flow in stream ecosystems is less well understood. Nearly a century of flow diversion for hydropower production has decimated the natural travertine formations in Fossil Creek, Arizona. The dam will be decommissioned in 2005. Returning carbonate-rich spring water to the natural stream channel should promote travertine deposition. How will the recovery of travertine affect the ecology of the creek? To address this question, we compared primary production, decomposition, and the abundance and diversity of invertebrates and fish in travertine and riffle/run reaches of Fossil Creek, Arizona. We found that travertine supports higher primary productivity, faster rates of leaf litter decomposition, and higher species richness of the native invertebrate assemblage. Observations from snorkeling in the stream indicate that fish density is also higher in the travertine reach. We postulate that restoring travertine to Fossil Creek will increase stream productivity, rates of litter processing, and energy flow up the food web. Higher aquatic productivity could fundamentally shift the nature of the stream from a sink to a source of energy for the surrounding terrestrial landscape.

  4. Regional Modeling of Ecosystem Services Provided by Stream Fishes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fish habitat and biodiversity for fish are valuable ecosystem services provided by rivers. Future land development and climate change will likely alter these services, and an understanding of these responses can guide management and restoration priorities. We used hierarchical mo...

  5. Light availability affects stream biofilm bacterial community composition and function, but not diversity.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karoline; Besemer, Katharina; Burns, Nancy R; Battin, Tom J; Bengtsson, Mia M

    2015-12-01

    Changes in riparian vegetation or water turbidity and browning in streams alter the local light regime with potential implications for stream biofilms and ecosystem functioning. We experimented with biofilms in microcosms grown under a gradient of light intensities (range: 5-152 μmole photons s(-1)  m(-2) ) and combined 454-pyrosequencing and enzymatic activity assays to evaluate the effects of light on biofilm structure and function. We observed a shift in bacterial community composition along the light gradient, whereas there was no apparent change in alpha diversity. Multifunctionality, based on extracellular enzymes, was highest under high light conditions and decoupled from bacterial diversity. Phenol oxidase activity, involved in the degradation of polyphenolic compounds, was twice as high on average under the lowest compared with the highest light condition. This suggests a shift in reliance of microbial heterotrophs on biofilm phototroph-derived organic matter under high light availability to more complex organic matter under low light. Furthermore, extracellular enzyme activities correlated with nutrient cycling and community respiration, supporting the link between biofilm structure-function and biogeochemical fluxes in streams. Our findings demonstrate that changes in light availability are likely to have significant impacts on biofilm structure and function, potentially affecting stream ecosystem processes.

  6. Light availability affects stream biofilm bacterial community composition and function, but not diversity.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Karoline; Besemer, Katharina; Burns, Nancy R; Battin, Tom J; Bengtsson, Mia M

    2015-12-01

    Changes in riparian vegetation or water turbidity and browning in streams alter the local light regime with potential implications for stream biofilms and ecosystem functioning. We experimented with biofilms in microcosms grown under a gradient of light intensities (range: 5-152 μmole photons s(-1)  m(-2) ) and combined 454-pyrosequencing and enzymatic activity assays to evaluate the effects of light on biofilm structure and function. We observed a shift in bacterial community composition along the light gradient, whereas there was no apparent change in alpha diversity. Multifunctionality, based on extracellular enzymes, was highest under high light conditions and decoupled from bacterial diversity. Phenol oxidase activity, involved in the degradation of polyphenolic compounds, was twice as high on average under the lowest compared with the highest light condition. This suggests a shift in reliance of microbial heterotrophs on biofilm phototroph-derived organic matter under high light availability to more complex organic matter under low light. Furthermore, extracellular enzyme activities correlated with nutrient cycling and community respiration, supporting the link between biofilm structure-function and biogeochemical fluxes in streams. Our findings demonstrate that changes in light availability are likely to have significant impacts on biofilm structure and function, potentially affecting stream ecosystem processes. PMID:26013911

  7. Experimental Acoustic Velocity Measurements in a Tidally Affected Stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Storm, J.B.; ,

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) constructed a continuous steamgaging station on the tidally affected Escatawpa River at Interstate 10 near Orange Grove, Mississippi, in August 2001. The gage collects water quantity parameters of stage and stream velocity, and water quality parameters of water temperature, specific conductance, and salinity. Data are transmitted to the local USGS office via the GOES satellite and are presented on a near real-time web page. Due to tidal effects, the stream has multiple flow regimes which include downstream, bi-directional, and reverse flows. Advances in acoustic technology have made it possible to gage streams of this nature where conventional methods have been unsuccessful. An experimental mount was designed in an attempt to recognize, describe, and quantify these flow regimes by using acoustic Doppler equipment.

  8. Tracer gauge: an automated dye dilution gauging system for ice-affected streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, D.W.; Fleming, A.C.

    2008-01-01

    In-stream flow protection programs require accurate, real-time streamflow data to aid in the protection of aquatic ecosystems during winter base flow periods. In cold regions, however, winter streamflow often can only be estimated because in-channel ice causes variable backwater conditions and alters the stage-discharge relation. In this study, an automated dye dilution gauging system, a tracer gauge, was developed for measuring discharge in ice-affected streams. Rhodamine WT is injected into the stream at a constant rate, and downstream concentrations are measured with a submersible fluorometer. Data loggers control system operations, monitor key variables, and perform discharge calculations. Comparison of discharge from the tracer gauge and from a Cipoletti weir during periods of extensive ice cover indicated that the root-mean-square error of the tracer gauge was 0.029 m3 s−1, or 6.3% of average discharge for the study period. The tracer gauge system can provide much more accurate data than is currently available for streams that are strongly ice affected and, thus, could substantially improve management of in-stream flow protection programs during winter in cold regions. Care must be taken, however, to test for the validity of key assumptions, including complete mixing and conservative behavior of dye, no changes in storage, and no gains or losses of water to or from the stream along the study reach. These assumptions may be tested by measuring flow-weighted dye concentrations across the stream, performing dye mass balance analyses, and evaluating breakthrough curve behavior.

  9. Resistance and resilience of pond and stream ecosystems to toxicant stress: Project summary

    SciTech Connect

    Boston, H.L.; Stewart, A.J.; Johnson, A.R.; Bartell, S.M.

    1987-01-01

    This project will evaluate hypotheses concerning the resistance and resilience of aquatic ecosystems exposed to toxic chemicals. Our goals are to develop diagnostic criteria for ecosystem classification and to improve existing methods of ecological risk estimation. The development of models that predict ecosystem level effects requires quantifying the relationships between the underlying control structure of ecosystems (patterns of energy and material flux) and the contributions of thos structures to ecosystem resistance and resilience. We address these problems through an integration of manipulative experiments, multidimensional state space analysis, and ecosystem modeling. These studies will quantify the underlying rate structure in pond and stream systems (including, production, herbivory, nutrient uptake and recycling) and will measure changes in their structures in response to perturbations by toxicants.

  10. Continental-scale effects of nutrient pollution on stream ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Guy; Gessner, Mark O; Giller, Paul S; Gulis, Vladislav; Hladyz, Sally; Lecerf, Antoine; Malmqvist, Björn; McKie, Brendan G; Tiegs, Scott D; Cariss, Helen; Dobson, Mike; Elosegi, Arturo; Ferreira, Verónica; Graça, Manuel A S; Fleituch, Tadeusz; Lacoursière, Jean O; Nistorescu, Marius; Pozo, Jesús; Risnoveanu, Geta; Schindler, Markus; Vadineanu, Angheluta; Vought, Lena B-M; Chauvet, Eric

    2012-06-15

    Excessive nutrient loading is a major threat to aquatic ecosystems worldwide that leads to profound changes in aquatic biodiversity and biogeochemical processes. Systematic quantitative assessment of functional ecosystem measures for river networks is, however, lacking, especially at continental scales. Here, we narrow this gap by means of a pan-European field experiment on a fundamental ecosystem process--leaf-litter breakdown--in 100 streams across a greater than 1000-fold nutrient gradient. Dramatically slowed breakdown at both extremes of the gradient indicated strong nutrient limitation in unaffected systems, potential for strong stimulation in moderately altered systems, and inhibition in highly polluted streams. This large-scale response pattern emphasizes the need to complement established structural approaches (such as water chemistry, hydrogeomorphology, and biological diversity metrics) with functional measures (such as litter-breakdown rate, whole-system metabolism, and nutrient spiraling) for assessing ecosystem health.

  11. Composition and diversity patterns in metazoan parasite communities and anthropogenic disturbance in stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, A D; Bunnell, J F; Sukhdeo, M V K

    2007-01-01

    The composition and diversity of metazoan parasite communities in naturally depauperate ecosystems are rarely studied. This study describes the composition of helminth endoparasite communities infecting fish that are part of naturally acidic stream ecosystems in the coastal-plains region of the State of New Jersey (USA) known as the Pinelands, and compares the diversity of parasites between six streams that differ in anthropogenic disturbance. A total of 514 fish were examined representing 6 species native but restricted to the Pinelands region, 5 species native and widespread throughout the region and State, and 6 species introduced to the Pinelands and State. Fish (prevalence: 78%) were infected with 18 helminth endoparasite species. In most streams, prevalence of infection, mean abundance, and total number of individuals for the 5 most common parasites were higher in pirate perch, a native fish species. The diversity of helminth endoparasite communities measured as species richness and Shannon index was higher in degraded streams, and especially in native or introduced fish at these sites. Parasite diversity was positively correlated with anthropogenic disturbance, which was measured by water pH, water conductance, and the proportion of agricultural and developed land surrounding streams. Helminth community composition included parasites intimately tied to trophic interactions in food webs, and disturbance to these ecosystems results in changes to these communities. Understanding structure and function of animal communities from these naturally depauperate ecosystems is important before continued anthropogenic changes result in the extirpation or extinction of their unique fauna. PMID:17032473

  12. Abandoned coal mine drainage and its remediation: impacts on stream ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Bott, Thomas L; Jackson, John K; McTammany, Matthew E; Newbold, J Denis; Rier, Steven T; Sweeney, Bernard W; Battle, Juliann M

    2012-12-01

    The effects of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streams and responses to remediation efforts were studied using three streams (AMD-impacted, remediated, reference) in both the anthracite and the bituminous coal mining regions of Pennsylvania (USA). Response variables included ecosystem function as well as water chemistry and macroinvertebrate community composition. The bituminous AMD stream was extremely acidic with high dissolved metals concentrations, a prolific mid-summer growth of the filamentous alga, Mougeotia, and > 10-fold more chlorophyll than the reference stream. The anthracite AMD stream had a higher pH, substrata coated with iron hydroxide(s), and negligible chlorophyll. Macroinvertebrate communities in the AMD streams were different from the reference streams, the remediated streams, and each other. Relative to the reference stream, the AMD stream(s) had (1) greater gross primary productivity (GPP) in the bituminous region and undetectable GPP in the anthracite region, (2) greater ecosystem respiration in both regions, (3) greatly reduced ammonium uptake and nitrification in both regions, (4) lower nitrate uptake in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, (5) more rapid phosphorus removal from the water column in both regions, (6) activities of phosphorus-acquiring, nitrogen-acquiring, and hydrolytic-carbon-acquiring enzymes that indicated extreme phosphorus limitation in both regions, and (7) slower oak and maple leaf decomposition in the bituminous region and slower oak decomposition in the anthracite region. Remediation brought chlorophyll concentrations and GPP nearer to values for respective reference streams, depressed ecosystem respiration, restored ammonium uptake, and partially restored nitrification in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, reduced nitrate uptake to an undetectable level, restored phosphorus uptake to near normal rates, and brought enzyme activities more in line with the reference stream in the bituminous

  13. Abandoned coal mine drainage and its remediation: impacts on stream ecosystem structure and function.

    PubMed

    Bott, Thomas L; Jackson, John K; McTammany, Matthew E; Newbold, J Denis; Rier, Steven T; Sweeney, Bernard W; Battle, Juliann M

    2012-12-01

    The effects of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streams and responses to remediation efforts were studied using three streams (AMD-impacted, remediated, reference) in both the anthracite and the bituminous coal mining regions of Pennsylvania (USA). Response variables included ecosystem function as well as water chemistry and macroinvertebrate community composition. The bituminous AMD stream was extremely acidic with high dissolved metals concentrations, a prolific mid-summer growth of the filamentous alga, Mougeotia, and > 10-fold more chlorophyll than the reference stream. The anthracite AMD stream had a higher pH, substrata coated with iron hydroxide(s), and negligible chlorophyll. Macroinvertebrate communities in the AMD streams were different from the reference streams, the remediated streams, and each other. Relative to the reference stream, the AMD stream(s) had (1) greater gross primary productivity (GPP) in the bituminous region and undetectable GPP in the anthracite region, (2) greater ecosystem respiration in both regions, (3) greatly reduced ammonium uptake and nitrification in both regions, (4) lower nitrate uptake in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, (5) more rapid phosphorus removal from the water column in both regions, (6) activities of phosphorus-acquiring, nitrogen-acquiring, and hydrolytic-carbon-acquiring enzymes that indicated extreme phosphorus limitation in both regions, and (7) slower oak and maple leaf decomposition in the bituminous region and slower oak decomposition in the anthracite region. Remediation brought chlorophyll concentrations and GPP nearer to values for respective reference streams, depressed ecosystem respiration, restored ammonium uptake, and partially restored nitrification in the bituminous (but not the anthracite) region, reduced nitrate uptake to an undetectable level, restored phosphorus uptake to near normal rates, and brought enzyme activities more in line with the reference stream in the bituminous

  14. Trophic-level dependent effects on CO2 emissions from experimental stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Trisha B; Hammill, Edd; Richardson, John S

    2014-11-01

    Concern over accelerating rates of species invasions and losses have initiated investigations into how local and global changes to predator abundance mediate trophic cascades that influence CO2 fluxes of aquatic ecosystems. However, to date, no studies have investigated how species additions or losses at other consumer trophic levels influence the CO2 flux of aquatic ecosystems. In this study, we added a large predatory stonefly, detritivorous stonefly, or grazer tadpole to experimental stream food webs and over a 70-day period quantified their effects on community composition, leaf litter decomposition, chlorophyll-a concentrations, and stream CO2 emissions. In general, streams where the large grazer or large detritivore were added showed no change in total invertebrate biomass, leaf litter loss, chlorophyll-a concentrations, or stream CO2 emissions compared with controls; although we did observe a spike in CO2 emissions in the large grazer treatment following a substantial reduction in chlorophyll-a concentrations on day 28. However, the large grazer and large detritivore altered the community composition of streams by reducing the densities of other grazer and detritivore taxa, respectively, compared with controls. Conversely, the addition of the large predator created trophic cascades that reduced total invertebrate biomass and increased primary producer biomass. The cascading effects of the predator additions on the food web ultimately led to decreased CO2 emissions from stream channels by up to 95%. Our results suggest that stream ecosystem processes were more influenced by changes in large predator abundance than large grazer or detritivore abundance, because of a lack of functionally similar large predators. Our study demonstrates that the presence/absence of species with unique functional roles may have consequences for the exchange of CO2 between the ecosystem and the atmosphere.

  15. Stream ecosystem integrity is impaired by logging and shifting agriculture in a global megadiversity center (Sarawak, Borneo).

    PubMed

    Jinggut, Tajang; Yule, Catherine M; Boyero, Luz

    2012-10-15

    In common with most of Borneo, the Bakun region of Sarawak is currently subject to heavy deforestation mainly due to logging and, to a lesser extent, traditional slash-and-burn farming practices. This has the potential to affect stream ecosystems, which are integrators of environmental change in the surrounding terrestrial landscape. This study evaluated the effects of both types of deforestation by using functional and structural indicators (leaf litter decomposition rates and associated detritivores or 'shredders', respectively) to compare a fundamental ecosystem process, leaf litter decomposition, within logged, farmed and pristine streams. Slash-and-burn agricultural practices increased the overall rate of decomposition despite a decrease in shredder species richness (but not shredder abundance) due to increased microbial decomposition. In contrast, decomposition by microbes and invertebrates was slowed down in the logged streams, where shredders were less abundant and less species rich. This study suggests that shredder communities are less affected by traditional agricultural farming practices, while modern mechanized deforestation has an adverse effect on both shredder communities and leaf breakdown. PMID:22922133

  16. Stream Ecosystem Responses to a Severe Spring Freeze: Unexpected Effects of Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulholland, P. J.; Roberts, B. J.; Hill, W. R.; Smith, J. G.

    2009-05-01

    Some expected changes in climate resulting from human greenhouse gas emissions are clear and well documented, but others may be harder to predict because they involve extreme weather events or heretofore unusual combinations of weather patterns. A recent example of unusual weather that may become more frequent with climate change occurred in early spring 2007 when a large Arctic air mass moved into the central and eastern United States following a very warm late winter. We documented effects of this freeze event on Walker Branch, a well-studied stream ecosystem in eastern Tennessee. The 2007 spring freeze killed newly emerged leaves in the forest canopy, dramatically increasing the amount of light reaching the stream. Measurements of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), gross primary production (GPP), nitrate uptake, and growth of a dominant herbivore, the snail Elimia clavaeformis, were made during the spring and summer months after the freeze and compared with measurements made over the same months in years before the freeze. PAR at the stream surface was sustained at levels considerably above those normal for the late spring and summer months due to incomplete recovery of forest canopy leaf area following the freeze. Increased PAR caused a cascade of ecological effects in the stream. GPP was considerably higher (2-3 times) during the late spring and summer months when normally low light levels severely limit stream GPP. Higher rates of stream GPP in turn caused higher rates of nitrate uptake by the autotrophic community and lower nitrate concentrations in stream water. The higher rates of stream GPP also resulted in higher snail growth rates. Net nitrate uptake and snail growth rates are typically zero to negative during summer; however, in 2007 they were maintained at moderate levels. These results show how changes in forest vegetation phenology, a predicted consequence of global warming, can have dramatic effects on stream productivity at multiple

  17. Secondary Students' Dynamic Modeling Processes: Analyzing, Reasoning About, Synthesizing, and Testing Models of Stream Ecosystems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stratford, Steven J.; Krajeik, Joseph; Soloway, Elliot

    This paper presents the results of a study of the cognitive strategies in which ninth-grade science students engaged as they used a learner-centered dynamic modeling tool (called Model-It) to make original models based upon stream ecosystem scenarios. The research questions were: (1) In what Cognitive Strategies for Modeling (analyzing, reasoning,…

  18. Ecosystem Consequences of Contrasting Flow Regimes in an Urban Effects Stream Mesocosm Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    A stream mesocosm experiment was conducted to study the ecosystem-wide effects of two replicated flow hydrograph treatments programmed in an attempt to compare a simulated predevelopment condition to the theoretical changes that new development brings, while accounting for engine...

  19. Nonlinear response of stream ecosystem structure to low-level phosphorus enrichment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) create novel environmental conditions that alter biological organization and ecosystem functioning in freshwaters. We studied 38 wadeable streams spanning an N and P gradient to contrast responses of algal and fish assemblages to nutrient enric...

  20. Mercury bioaccumulation and biomagnification in Ozark stream ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmitt, Christopher J.; Stricker, Craig A.; Brumbaugh, William G.

    2011-01-01

    Crayfish (Orconectes spp.), Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), northern hog sucker (hog sucker; Hypentelium nigricans), and smallmouth bass (smallmouth; Micropterus dolomieu) from streams in southeastern Missouri (USA) were analyzed for total mercury (HgT) and for stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C), nitrogen (δ15N), and sulfur (δ34S) to discern Hg transfer pathways. HgT concentrations were generally lowest in crayfish (0.005-0.112 μg/g dw) and highest in smallmouth (0.093-4.041 μg/g dw), as was δ15N. HgT was also lower and δ15N was higher in all biota from a stream draining a more heavily populated historical lead-zinc mining area than from similar sites with mostly undeveloped forested watersheds. δ13C in biota was lowest at spring-influenced sites, reflecting CO2 inputs and temperature influences, and δ34S increased from south to north in all taxa. However, HgT was not strongly correlated with either δ13C or δ34S in biota. Trophic position (TP) computed from crayfish δ15N was lower in hog suckers (mean=2.8) than in smallmouth (mean=3.2), but not at all sites. HgT, δ13C, δ34S, and TP in hog suckers increased with total length (length) at some sites, indicating site-specific ontogenetic diet shifts. Changes with length were less evident in smallmouth. Length-adjusted HgT site means in both species were strongly correlated with HgT in crayfish (r2=0.97, Pr2=0.02, P>0.05). NCOVA and regression models incorporating only TP and, for hog suckers, length, accurately and precisely predicted HgT concentrations in both fish species from all locations. Although low compared to many areas of the USA, HgT (and therefore methylmercury) concentrations in smallmouth and hog suckers are sufficiently high to represent a threat to human health and wildlife. Our data indicate that in Ozark streams, Hg concentrations in crayfish are at least partly determined by their diet, with concentrations in hog suckers, smallmouth, and possibly other higher-level consumers largely

  1. Quantifying the sensitivity of ephemeral streams to land disturbance activities in arid ecosystems at the watershed scale.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Ben L; Hamada, Yuki; Bowen, Esther E; Grippo, Mark A; Hartmann, Heidi M; Patton, Terri L; Van Lonkhuyzen, Robert A; Carr, Adrianne E

    2014-11-01

    Large areas of public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and located in arid regions of the southwestern United States are being considered for the development of utility-scale solar energy facilities. Land-disturbing activities in these desert, alluvium-filled valleys have the potential to adversely affect the hydrologic and ecologic functions of ephemeral streams. Regulation and management of ephemeral streams typically falls under a spectrum of federal, state, and local programs, but scientifically based guidelines for protecting ephemeral streams with respect to land-development activities are largely nonexistent. This study developed an assessment approach for quantifying the sensitivity to land disturbance of ephemeral stream reaches located in proposed solar energy zones (SEZs). The ephemeral stream assessment approach used publicly-available geospatial data on hydrology, topography, surficial geology, and soil characteristics, as well as high-resolution aerial imagery. These datasets were used to inform a professional judgment-based score index of potential land disturbance impacts on selected critical functions of ephemeral streams, including flow and sediment conveyance, ecological habitat value, and groundwater recharge. The total sensitivity scores (sum of scores for the critical stream functions of flow and sediment conveyance, ecological habitats, and groundwater recharge) were used to identify highly sensitive stream reaches to inform decisions on developable areas in SEZs. Total sensitivity scores typically reflected the scores of the individual stream functions; some exceptions pertain to groundwater recharge and ecological habitats. The primary limitations of this assessment approach were the lack of high-resolution identification of ephemeral stream channels in the existing National Hydrography Dataset, and the lack of mechanistic processes describing potential impacts on ephemeral stream functions at the watershed scale. The

  2. Mercury cycling in stream ecosystems. 3. Trophic dynamics and methylmercury bioaccumulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chasar, L.C.; Scudder, B.C.; Stewart, A.R.; Bell, A.H.; Aiken, G.R.

    2009-01-01

    Trophic dynamics (community composition and feeding relationships) have been identified as important drivers of methylmercury (MeHg) bioaccumulation in lakes, reservoirs, and marine ecosystems. The relative importance of trophic dynamics and geochemical controls on MeHg bioaccumulation in streams, however, remains poorly characterized. MeHg bioaccumulation was evaluated in eight stream ecosystems across the United States (Oregon, Wisconsin, and Florida) spanning large ranges in climate, landscape characteristics, atmospheric Hg deposition, and stream chemistry. Across all geographic regions and all streams, concentrations of total Hg (THg) in top predator fish and forage fish, and MeHg in invertebrates, were strongly positively correlated to concentrations of filtered THg (FTHg), filtered MeHg (FMeHg), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC); to DOC complexity (as measured by specific ultraviolet absorbance); and to percent wetland in the stream basins. Correlations were strongest for nonurban streams. Although regressions of log[Hg] versus ??15N indicate that Hg in biota increased significantly with increasing trophic position within seven of eight individual streams, Hg concentrations in top predator fish (including cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout; green sunfish; and largemouth bass) were not strongly influenced by differences in relative trophic position. Slopes of log[Hg] versus ??15N, an indicator of the efficiency of trophic enrichment, ranged from 0.14 to 0.27 for all streams. These data suggest that, across the large ranges in FTHg (0.14-14.2 ng L-1), FMeHg (0.023-1.03 ng L-1), and DOC (0.50-61.0 mg L-1) found in this study, Hg contamination in top predator fish in streams likely is dominated by the amount of MeHg available for uptake at the base of the food web rather than by differences in the trophic position of top predator fish. ?? 2009 American Chemical Society.

  3. Land Use and Stream Ecosystems in the Ozark Highlands, Missouri and Arkansas - Extracting a Weak Signal From Background Noise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, R. B.; Rabeni, C. F.; Petersen, J. C.; Magoulick, D. D.; Doisy, K. E.; Rettig, A. V.

    2003-12-01

    Land use history in the Ozark Highlands of Missouri and Arkansas included widespread timber harvest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, followed by substantial depopulation that left a mosaic of land dominated by timber harvest, grazing, and other agricultural land uses. There is regional concern that present-day timber harvest and agricultural land-use practices may have detrimental effects on highly valued, biologically unique, and species-rich Ozarks streams. Our synthesis of five recent studies of landscape characteristics and stream ecosystems in the Ozarks documents scale-dependence and geographic complexities of links from land use to stream ecosystems. Over 100 study streams in the combined dataset range 6 - 4,300 km2 in drainage area and drain rural land ranging 15-100% forested. Fish, aquatic insect, and periphyton communities can be reliably associated with some mesohabitat- and reach-scale measures of habitat and water quality. Biotic communities in some streams also appear linked to drainage-basin land use through controls on nutrient availability. However, physical habitat, thought to be an important factor affecting biotic community structure, is often only weakly linked to drainage-basin land use. We suggest that the weak relationships between drainage-basin land use, physical habitat, and biotic community structure in these streams is due to several interacting factors including: 1) stream morphology and physical habitat responses to land-use change are lagged in time, introducing considerable temporal noise in synoptic datasets; 2) lagged geomorphic responses accentuate and complicate the influence of drainage-basin area on habitat characteristics; 3) spatial variation of geology and physiography is large relative to the magnitude of land-use stress in this rural landscape, resulting in considerable spatial noise; 4) the karst landscape of much of the region tends to produce a bimodal sediment load and flashy hydrology; clay and silt are

  4. Effects of urban development on stream ecosystems alongthe Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprague, Lori A.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Dupree, Jean A.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a study from 2002 through 2003 through its National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to determine the effects of urbanization on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of stream ecosystems along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The objectives of the study were to (1) examine physical, chemical, and biological responses at sites ranging from minimally to highly developed; (2) determine the major physical, chemical, and landscape variables affecting aquatic communities at these sites; and (3) evaluate the relevance of the results to the management of water resources in the South Platte River Basin.

  5. Ecosystem dynamics of a South Carolina sandhills stream

    SciTech Connect

    English, W.R.

    1991-01-01

    This research was designed to investigate selected habitats and environmental resources, and determine their dynamics and the dynamics of the aquatic invertebrate community structure in response to them. In so doing, the variability in community-based indices of water quality was assessed. To accomplish these tasks, a remote sensing station was developed for continuous monitoring of water chemistry. One hour interval data showed strong diel patterns in temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Assessment of specific habitat types showed sandy main channel areas covered most of the creek bottom and accumulated little organic matter. Aquatic invertebrate sampling of these discrete habitat types showed that organism density was greatest in the main channel and plant associated habitats and lowest in pools and snags. Functional feeding group percentages showed the main channel was dominated by predators (43%). Plant and snag habitats had 63% and 72% filter-feeders respectively. Pools and benthic areas within plant beds had 51% and 42% collector-gatherers respectively. Greatest percentage similarity in taxa was between plant stem and snag habitats (61%) and between plant and benthic habitats (41%). Years 1984-85 showed no differences in organism abundances, taxa richness, diversity, biotic index values, or EPT ratios. 1984 and 1985 had 87% of their taxa in common. These data showed that community-based indices of water quality may not be representative of the stream if samples are taken only in specified habitats.

  6. The Role of Microbial Biofilms as Ecosystem Engineers in Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battin, T. I.; Battin, T. I.; Kaplan, L. A.; Newbold, J. D.

    2001-12-01

    Microbial biofilms growing on and through the surface of streambeds physically alter the interface between the water column and benthic zone and influence the biogeochemistry within the steambed and hyporheic zone. We monitored the development of biofilms within stream-side flumes, and were able to relate changes in biofilm structure to concomitant changes in hydrodynamics, particle deposition, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) uptake. Biofilm development was assessed by measurements of ash free dry mass, bacterial density, concentrations of chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharides, and confocal microscopy of fluorescent-stained biotic and abiotic assemblages. The microbial biofilms were followed through an initial colonization period, the development of mm-thick mats that included streamers undulating in the current, and the eventual erosion and sloughing of these structural features. As the biofilms matured, hydrologic exchange rate, transient storage capacity, and particle deposition rates increased, reached a plateau, and eventually declined. The uptake of glucose and arabinose, added in nM concentrations to the flumes, showed a preferential uptake of glucose over arabinose. However, as the biofilms grew, the differences between the uptake of these two saccharides declined. This change is consistent with a shift in the rate-limiting step for DOC uptake from internal biofilm processes to greater diffusion-limitation as biofilm thickness, and thus the diffusion barrier, increased. We suggest that microscale processes, which alter biofilm structure, in turn alter large-scale physical and biogeochemical processes, including streamwater/subsurface hydrodynamics and organic matter fluxes.

  7. Effects of Debris Flows on Stream Ecosystems of the Klamath Mountains, Northern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cover, M. R.; Delafuente, J. A.; Resh, V. H.

    2006-12-01

    removal of riparian vegetation. Because debris flow frequency increases following road construction and timber harvest, the long-term biological effects of debris flows on stream ecosystems, including anadromous fish populations, needs to be considered in forest management decisions.

  8. Experimental and Ecological Implications of Evening Bird Surveys in Stream-Riparian Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, S. Mažeika P.; Vierling, Kerri T.

    2009-10-01

    Stream-riparian ecosystems are dynamic and complex entities that can support high levels of bird assemblage abundance and diversity. The myriad patches (e.g., aquatic, floodplain, riparian) found in the riverscape habitat mosaic attract a unique mixture of aquatic, semiaquatic, riparian, and upland birds, each uniquely utilizing the river corridor. Whereas standard morning bird surveys are widely used across ecosystems, the variety of bird guilds and the temporal habitat partitioning that likely occur in stream-riparian ecosystems argue for the inclusion of evening surveys. At 41 stream reaches in Vermont and Idaho, USA, we surveyed bird assemblages using a combination of morning and evening fixed-width transect counts. Student’s paired t-tests showed that while bird abundance was not significantly different between morning and evening surveys, bird assemblage diversity (as measured by species richness, Shannon-Weiner’s index, and Simpson’s index) was significantly higher in the morning than in the evening. NMS ordinations of bird species and time (i.e., morning, evening) indicated that the structure of morning bird assemblages was different from that of evening assemblages. NMS further showed that a set of species was only found in evening surveys. The inclusion of evening counts in surveying bird assemblages in stream-riparian ecosystems has important experimental and ecological implications. Experimentally, the sole use of morning bird surveys may significantly underestimate the diversity and misrepresent the community composition of bird assemblages in these ecosystems. Ecologically, many of the birds detected in evening surveys were water-associated species that occupy high trophic levels and aerial insectivores that represent unique aquatic-terrestrial energy transfers.

  9. Multi-stressor impacts on fungal diversity and ecosystem functions in streams: natural vs. anthropogenic stress.

    PubMed

    Tolkkinen, M; Mykrä, H; Annala, M; Markkola, A M; Vuori, K M; Muotka, T

    2015-03-01

    Biological assemblages are often subjected to multiple stressors emerging from both anthropogenic activities and naturally stressful conditions, and species' responses to simultaneous stressors may differ from those predicted based on the individual effects of each stressor alone. We studied the influence of land-use disturbance (forest drainage) on fungal decomposer assemblages and leaf decomposition rates in naturally harsh (low pH caused by black-shale dominated geology) vs. circumneutral streams. We used pyrosequencing to determine fungal richness and assemblage structure. Decomposition rates did not differ between circumneutral and naturally acidic reference sites. However, the effect of forest drainage on microbial decomposition was more pronounced in the naturally acidic streams than in circumneutral streams. Single-effect responses of fungal assemblages were mainly related to geology. Community similarity was significantly higher in the naturally acidic disturbed sites than in corresponding reference sites, suggesting that land-use disturbance simplifies fungal assemblages in naturally stressful conditions. Naturally acidic streams supported distinct fungal assemblages with many OTUs (operational taxonomic unit) unique to these streams. Our results indicate that fungal assemblages in streams are sensitive to both structural and functional impairment in response to multiple stressors. Anthropogenic degradation of naturally acidic streams may decrease regional fungal diversity and impair ecosystem functions, and these globally occurring environments therefore deserve special attention in conservation planning. PMID:26236864

  10. Multi-stressor impacts on fungal diversity and ecosystem functions in streams: natural vs. anthropogenic stress.

    PubMed

    Tolkkinen, M; Mykrä, H; Annala, M; Markkola, A M; Vuori, K M; Muotka, T

    2015-03-01

    Biological assemblages are often subjected to multiple stressors emerging from both anthropogenic activities and naturally stressful conditions, and species' responses to simultaneous stressors may differ from those predicted based on the individual effects of each stressor alone. We studied the influence of land-use disturbance (forest drainage) on fungal decomposer assemblages and leaf decomposition rates in naturally harsh (low pH caused by black-shale dominated geology) vs. circumneutral streams. We used pyrosequencing to determine fungal richness and assemblage structure. Decomposition rates did not differ between circumneutral and naturally acidic reference sites. However, the effect of forest drainage on microbial decomposition was more pronounced in the naturally acidic streams than in circumneutral streams. Single-effect responses of fungal assemblages were mainly related to geology. Community similarity was significantly higher in the naturally acidic disturbed sites than in corresponding reference sites, suggesting that land-use disturbance simplifies fungal assemblages in naturally stressful conditions. Naturally acidic streams supported distinct fungal assemblages with many OTUs (operational taxonomic unit) unique to these streams. Our results indicate that fungal assemblages in streams are sensitive to both structural and functional impairment in response to multiple stressors. Anthropogenic degradation of naturally acidic streams may decrease regional fungal diversity and impair ecosystem functions, and these globally occurring environments therefore deserve special attention in conservation planning.

  11. Metal-contaminated Sediment Effects on Biofilm Communities: Impairment of Multiple Stream Ecosystem Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burton, G.; Costello, D.

    2012-12-01

    Photosynthetic biofilms are crucial drivers of many important stream ecosystem functions (e.g., primary and secondary production, N cycling), yet we have a limited understanding of how these critical communities respond to contaminated sediments. Divalent metals (e.g., Cu, Ni, Zn) are ubiquitous in urban streams and may be contributing to the decline in ecosystem function in urban waters. We exposed natural biofilm communities in five different streams to a common sediment amended with four concentrations of Ni and Cu. Contaminated sediments were placed into cups, covered with mesh disks for biofilm attachment, and secured to the streambed. After 6 weeks, biofilm-colonized disks were analyzed for net primary production (NPP), chlorophyll a, and metal content. Sediments below the biofilms were analyzed for total metals, acid volatile sulfide, and high-resolution vertical dissolved oxygen concentrations. Additional biofilm disks were separated from the sediment and fed to Lymnaea stagnalis to assess indirect effects of sediment metal on grazers. Among our five streams, we found variation in the biofilm response to metals with the most productive stream (Elm Creek) showing the strongest negative response to metal-contaminated sediment. Contaminated sediments in Elm Creek reduced biofilm growth, slowed primary production, and prevented penetration of oxygen into surface sediments. In the less productive streams, biofilms did not reduce NPP in the presence of sediment metal and there was still substantial penetration of oxygen into sediments; however, metals moved out of the sediment and accumulated in the biofilm. L. stagnalis exposed to metal-contaminated biofilms fed at a slower rate than those given clean biofilms. This study suggests that biofilms, and the biogeochemical cycles they drive, can potentially be impaired by contaminated sediment but the response is context dependent. Further, indirect dietary effects of contaminated sediment occur more widely than

  12. Characterization of a rarely studied ecosystem: Initial insights into the functioning of Antarctic supraglacial streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaros, C.; SanClements, M.; McKnight, D. M.; Foreman, C. M.; Tedesco, M.; Smith, H.; Wei-Haas, M.; Chin, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Glacial ecosystems are biogeochemically active environments that influence downstream ecosystem function, yet there are few studies describing supraglacial stream systems, especially in Antarctica. During the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 austral summers we sampled the supraglacial Cotton Glacier Stream at regular intervals to characterize one of these rarely studied systems. Throughout the 2009-2010 summer we focused on stream chemistry and dissolved organic matter (DOM) characterization. During the 2010-2011 season we established a meteorological station on the glacial surface to conduct measurements of the physical environment. Meteorological data revealed that during summer, temperatures do not frequently exceed zero Celsius for extended periods of time. Pressure transducers and time lapse cameras were installed to capture changes in water depth and revealed a system capable of extreme change on the time-scale of hours. While both temperature and solar radiation appeared to exert significant influence on the daily flow regime, they were not the dominant factor in driving extreme changes in hydrology during the summer. Our observations indicate that extreme hydrologic events (i.e. rapid flooding and draining), were largely controlled by downstream moulins which dictate the drainage of Cotton Stream. This suggests the flow regimes of large Antarctic supraglacial streams may be controlled by a complex relationship between geomorphology and meteorology; resulting in a decoupling of flow, temperature and solar radiation. Chemical analysis and DOM characterization indicate that the dynamic nature of Cotton Stream, paired with very dilute nutrient concentrations, results in an ecosystem with little to no legacy of microbial communities and DOM from year to year.

  13. Increased Use of No-till Cropping Systems Improves Stream Ecosystem Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yates, A. G.; Bailey, R. C.; Schwindt, J. A.

    2005-05-01

    Release of sediments to streams from tilled lands has been a significant stressor to streams in agro-ecosystems for decades and has been shown to impact aquatic biota in a variety of ways. To limit soil erosion from cultivated lands, conservation tillage techniques, including the use of no-till systems, have been developed and widely adopted throughout the region. However, there haves been no tests of the effects of no-till systems on stream quality at a watershed scale. We measured habitat and water quality and sampled the benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) and fish communities in 32 small (100-1400 ha) subwatersheds along a gradient of the proportion of land under no-till cropping systems to determine relationships between the use of no-till and stream quality. Our results demonstrate that with increasing proportions of no-till, habitat scores improve, the quantities of sediment and sediment associated stressors in the water decline, the BMI community exhibits reduced dominance by Oligocheata and Sphaeriidae, as well as improved Family Biotic Index (FBI) scores, and fish species richness increases. We concluded that increased use of no-till cropping systems by farmers does contribute to improved quality of streams in agro-ecosystems.

  14. Assessing aluminium toxicity in streams affected by acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Waters, A S; Webster-Brown, J G

    2013-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) has degraded water quality and ecology in streams on the Stockton Plateau, the site of New Zealand's largest open-cast coal mining operation. This has previously been attributed largely to the effects of acidity and elevated aluminium (Al) concentrations. However, the toxicity of dissolved Al is dependent on speciation, which is influenced by pH which affects Al hydrolysis, as well as the concentrations of organic carbon and sulphate which complex Al. Methods for the assessment of the toxic fraction of Al, by chemical analysis and geochemical modelling, have been investigated in selected streams on the Stockton Plateau, where dissolved Al concentrations ranged from 0.034 to 27 mg L(-1). Modelling using PHREEQC indicated that between 0.2 and 85% of the dissolved Al was present as the free ion Al(3+), the most toxic Al species, which dominated in waters of pH = 3.8-4.8. Al-sulphate complexation reduced the Al(3+) concentration at lower pH, while Al-organic and -hydroxide complexes dominated at higher pH. Macroinvertebrate richness in the streams identified an Al(3+) 'threshold' of approximately 0.42 mg/L, above which taxa declined rapidly. Colorimetric 'Aluminon' analysis on unpreserved, unfiltered waters provided a better estimation of Al(3+) concentrations than inductively couple plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) on filtered, acidified waters. The Aluminon method does not react with particulate Al or strong Al complexes, often registering as little as 53% of the dissolved Al concentration determined by ICP-MS. PMID:23579831

  15. Assessing aluminium toxicity in streams affected by acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Waters, A S; Webster-Brown, J G

    2013-01-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) has degraded water quality and ecology in streams on the Stockton Plateau, the site of New Zealand's largest open-cast coal mining operation. This has previously been attributed largely to the effects of acidity and elevated aluminium (Al) concentrations. However, the toxicity of dissolved Al is dependent on speciation, which is influenced by pH which affects Al hydrolysis, as well as the concentrations of organic carbon and sulphate which complex Al. Methods for the assessment of the toxic fraction of Al, by chemical analysis and geochemical modelling, have been investigated in selected streams on the Stockton Plateau, where dissolved Al concentrations ranged from 0.034 to 27 mg L(-1). Modelling using PHREEQC indicated that between 0.2 and 85% of the dissolved Al was present as the free ion Al(3+), the most toxic Al species, which dominated in waters of pH = 3.8-4.8. Al-sulphate complexation reduced the Al(3+) concentration at lower pH, while Al-organic and -hydroxide complexes dominated at higher pH. Macroinvertebrate richness in the streams identified an Al(3+) 'threshold' of approximately 0.42 mg/L, above which taxa declined rapidly. Colorimetric 'Aluminon' analysis on unpreserved, unfiltered waters provided a better estimation of Al(3+) concentrations than inductively couple plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) on filtered, acidified waters. The Aluminon method does not react with particulate Al or strong Al complexes, often registering as little as 53% of the dissolved Al concentration determined by ICP-MS.

  16. Hydrologic Variability Affects Invertebrate Grazing on Phototrophic Biofilms in Stream Microcosms

    PubMed Central

    Ceola, Serena; Hödl, Iris; Adlboller, Martina; Singer, Gabriel; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Mari, Lorenzo; Botter, Gianluca; Waringer, Johann; Battin, Tom J.; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    The temporal variability of streamflow is known to be a key feature structuring and controlling fluvial ecological communities and ecosystem processes. Although alterations of streamflow regime due to habitat fragmentation or other anthropogenic factors are ubiquitous, a quantitative understanding of their implications on ecosystem structure and function is far from complete. Here, by experimenting with two contrasting flow regimes in stream microcosms, we provide a novel mechanistic explanation for how fluctuating flow regimes may affect grazing of phototrophic biofilms (i.e., periphyton) by an invertebrate species (Ecdyonurus sp.). In both flow regimes light availability was manipulated as a control on autotroph biofilm productivity and grazer activity, thereby allowing the test of flow regime effects across various ratios of biofilm biomass to grazing activity. Average grazing rates were significantly enhanced under variable flow conditions and this effect was highest at intermediate light availability. Our results suggest that stochastic flow regimes, characterised by suitable fluctuations and temporal persistence, may offer increased windows of opportunity for grazing under favourable shear stress conditions. This bears important implications for the development of comprehensive schemes for water resources management and for the understanding of trophic carbon transfer in stream food webs. PMID:23613735

  17. Nitrate removal in stream ecosystems measured by 15N addition experiments: 2. Denitrification

    SciTech Connect

    Mulholland, Patrick J; Hall, Robert; Sobota, Daniel; Dodds, Walter; Findlay, Stuart; Grimm, Nancy; Hamilton, Stephen; McDowell, William; O'Brien, Jon; Tank, Jennifer; Ashkenas, Linda; Cooper, Lee W; Dahm, Cliff; Gregory, Stanley; Johnson, Sherri; Meyer, Judy; Peterson, Bruce; Poole, Geoff; Valett, H. Maurice; Webster, Jackson; Arango, Clay; Beaulieu, Jake; Bernot, Melody; Burgin, Amy; Crenshaw, Chelsea; Helton, Ashley; Johnson, Laura; Niederlehner, Bobbie; Potter, Jody; Sheibley, Rich; Thomas, Suzanne

    2009-01-01

    We measured denitrification rates using a field {sup 15}N-NO{sub 3}{sup -} tracer-addition approach in a large, cross-site study of nitrate uptake in reference, agricultural, and suburban-urban streams. We measured denitrification rates in 49 of 72 streams studied. Uptake length due to denitrification (S{sub Wden}) ranged from 89 m to 184 km (median of 9050 m) and there were no significant differences among regions or land-use categories, likely because of the wide range of conditions within each region and land use. N{sub 2} production rates far exceeded N{sub 2}O production rates in all streams. The fraction of total NO{sub 3}{sup -} removal from water due to denitrification ranged from 0.5% to 100% among streams (median of 16%), and was related to NH{sub 4}{sup +} concentration and ecosystem respiration rate (ER). Multivariate approaches showed that the most important factors controlling S{sub Wden} were specific discharge (discharge/width) and NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration (positive effects), and ER and transient storage zones (negative effects). The relationship between areal denitrification rate (U{sub den}) and NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration indicated a partial saturation effect. A power function with an exponent of 0.5 described this relationship better than a Michaelis-Menten equation. Although U{sub den} increased with increasing NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration, the efficiency of NO{sub 3}{sup -} removal from water via denitrification declined, resulting in a smaller proportion of streamwater NO{sub 3}{sup -} load removed over a given length of stream. Regional differences in stream denitrification rates were small relative to the proximate factors of NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration and ecosystem respiration rate, and land use was an important but indirect control on denitrification in streams, primarily via its effect on NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentration.

  18. Nitrate removal in stream ecosystems measured by 15N addition experiments: Denitrification

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mulholland, P.J.; Hall, R.O.; Sobota, D.J.; Dodds, W.K.; Findlay, S.E.G.; Grimm, N. B.; Hamilton, S.K.; McDowell, W.H.; O'Brien, J. M.; Tank, J.L.; Ashkenas, L.R.; Cooper, L.W.; Dahm, Clifford N.; Gregory, S.V.; Johnson, S.L.; Meyer, J.L.; Peterson, B.J.; Poole, G.C.; Valett, H.M.; Webster, J.R.; Arango, C.P.; Beaulieu, J.J.; Bernot, M.J.; Burgin, A.J.; Crenshaw, C.L.; Helton, A.M.; Johnson, L.T.; Niederlehner, B.R.; Potter, J.D.; Sheibley, R.W.; Thomasn, S.M.

    2009-01-01

    We measured denitrification rates using a field 15N-NO- 3 tracer-addition approach in a large, cross-site study of nitrate uptake in reference, agricultural, and suburban-urban streams. We measured denitrification rates in 49 of 72 streams studied. Uptake length due to denitrification (SWden) ranged from 89 m to 184 km (median of 9050 m) and there were no significant differences among regions or land-use categories, likely because of the wide range of conditions within each region and land use. N2 production rates far exceeded N2O production rates in all streams. The fraction of total NO-3 removal from water due to denitrification ranged from 0.5% to 100% among streams (median of 16%), and was related to NHz 4 concentration and ecosystem respiration rate (ER). Multivariate approaches showed that the most important factors controlling SWden were specific discharge (discharge / width) and NO-3 concentration (positive effects), and ER and transient storage zones (negative effects). The relationship between areal denitrification rate (Uden) and NO- 3 concentration indicated a partial saturation effect. A power function with an exponent of 0.5 described this relationship better than a Michaelis-Menten equation. Although Uden increased with increasing NO- 3 concentration, the efficiency of NO-3 removal from water via denitrification declined, resulting in a smaller proportion of streamwater NO-3 load removed over a given length of stream. Regional differences in stream denitrification rates were small relative to the proximate factors of NO-3 concentration and ecosystem respiration rate, and land use was an important but indirect control on denitrification in streams, primarily via its effect on NO-3 concentration. ?? 2009.

  19. Effects of impervious cover on the surface water quality and aquatic ecosystem of the Kyeongan stream in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Bum-Yeon; Park, Shin-Jeong; Paule, Ma Cristina; Jun, Woosong; Lee, Chang-Hee

    2012-08-01

    The extent of impervious cover in a watershed has been linked to the quality of an urban aquatic environment. The Kyeongan watershed in South Korea was investigated to evaluate the relationship between the total impervious area (TIA) and the aquatic ecosystem of the watershed, including water quality and aquatic life using a relatively high-resolution (0.4 m) image. The TIA was found to be approximately 12% of the watershed, which indicates that the quality of its environment was being adversely affected by it. For water quality, Pearson correlation analyses showed that all water quality parameters studied were found to be positively correlated with TIA at p < 0.01, except for nitrate (NO3-). In addition, the zone with a higher TIA was found to have worse water quality. Some water quality parameters, such as nitrite (NO2-), total phosphorus, and phosphate (PO4(3-)) were highly affected by discharges from wastewater treatment plants. Water quality data suggest that TIA could be used to predict the water quality of streams. For ecological parameters, the diatom index for organic pollution and trophic diatom index were found to be highly correlated with TIA, whereas physical habitat and benthic macroinvertebrates were poorly correlated with TIA. However, the results indicate that the extent of impervious cover can be a useful indicator for predicting the status of specific ecosystem of streams.

  20. The Role of Road Corridors on Riparian Vegetation and Stream Ecosystem Dynamics.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowl, T.; Heartsill-Scalley, T.; Covich, A. P.; Hein, C. L.

    2005-05-01

    Stream ecosystems are dependent on organic material from the riparian zone as a major energy source for the food web. Leaf litter (organic matter) entering streams is processed by a combination of physical and biological mechanisms. In temperate streams, microbial conditioning is important for detrital processing. Much less is known in tropical systems, especially those dominated by large macro-consumers such as decapods. There is also variation among species in terms of processing rates that are explained by nutritional value, chemical defenses and palatability. These traits are a function of plant life history. If riparian species are being significantly altered through invasions by exotic species along road corridors, then we can expect changes in detrital processing rates and ultimately, ecosystem function. As part of a biocomplexity project in Puerto Rico, we are quantifying the changes to species composition and trait-mediated decomposition and foodweb dynamics. Where roads are constructed, exotic invasives include Spathodea, Bambusa, Syzigium and a various grasses. Because of the chemical defenses and their high nutritional value, decomposition rates on these species is much higher than for native riparian species. The increased breakdown rates may `accelerate' ecosystem processes and either enhance or destabilize existing food web linkages.

  1. Effects of municipal wastewater on aquatic ecosystem structure and function in the receiving stream.

    PubMed

    Englert, Dominic; Zubrod, Jochen P; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2013-06-01

    During recent years, increasing incidences of summer droughts - likely driven by climate change - reduced the dilution potential of low-order streams for secondary treated wastewater also in temperate Europe. Despite the potential risks to ecosystem integrity, there is a paucity of knowledge regarding the effects of different wastewater dilution potentials on ecosystem functions. The present study investigated the implications of secondary treated wastewater released into a third-order stream (Queich, southwest Germany) during a season with low dilution potential (summer; ~90% wastewater) as compared to a season with high dilution potential (winter; ~35% wastewater) in terms of leaf litter decomposition and macroinvertebrate communities. Adverse effects in macroinvertebrate mediated leaf mass loss (~65%), gammarids' feeding rate (~80%), leaf associated fungal biomass (>40%) and shifts in macroinvertebrate community structure were apparent up to 100 and 300 m (partially 500 m) downstream of the wastewater treatment plant effluent during winter and summer, respectively. In addition, a Gammarus fossarum laboratory feeding trial demonstrated the potential of powdered activated carbon to reduce the ecotoxicity of released wastewater. These results urge the development and evaluation of adequate management strategies, e.g. the application of advanced wastewater treatment technologies, to protect the integrity of freshwater ecosystems, which is required by the European Water Framework Directive - also considering decreasing dilution potential of streams as projected by climate change scenarios. PMID:23562693

  2. Influence of dissolved organic carbon on methylmercury bioavailability across Minnesota stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tsui, Martin Tsz Ki; Finlay, Jacques C

    2011-07-15

    Stream ecosystems are widely contaminated by mercury (Hg) via atmospheric transport and deposition in watersheds. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is well-known to be the dominant ligand for aqueous methylmercury (MeHg), the bioaccumulative form of Hg in aquatic food webs. However, it is less clear if and how the concentration and character (e.g., aromaticity) of DOC influences the availability of dissolved MeHg to stream food webs. In this work, we analyzed total-Hg and/or MeHg concentrations in water, seston, and macroinvertebrates (filter-feeding hydropsychid caddisflies), and other physiochemical properties in 30 streams along a south-north geographic gradient in eastern Minnesota that corresponds to substantial changes in dominant land cover (i.e., agriculture, urban, wetland, and forest). In general, MeHg concentrations in seston and hydropsychids were higher in watersheds with more forest and wetland coverage, and increased with dissolved MeHg concentration. However, we found that the efficiency of MeHg incorporation into the stream food webs (i.e., bioconcentration factors of MeHg in both seston and hydropsychids, BCF(MeHg) = solid MeHg ÷ dissolved MeHg) decreased significantly with DOC concentration and aromaticity, suggesting that MeHg bioavailability to the base of food webs was attenuated at higher levels of terrestrial DOC. Therefore, our findings suggest that there is a dual role of DOC on MeHg cycling in streams: terrestrial DOC acts as the primary carrier ligand of dissolved MeHg for transport into surface waters, yet this aromatic DOC also attenuates dissolved MeHg uptake by aquatic food webs. Thus, consideration of MeHg bioavailability and its environmental regulation could help improve predictive models of MeHg bioaccumulation in stream ecosystems.

  3. Riparian plant species loss alters trophic dynamics in detritus-based stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lecerf, Antoine; Dobson, Michael; Dang, Christian K; Chauvet, Eric

    2005-12-01

    Riparian vegetation is closely connected to stream food webs through input of leaf detritus as a primary energy supply, and therefore, any alteration of plant diversity may influence aquatic ecosystem functioning. We measured leaf litter breakdown rate and associated biological parameters in mesh bags in eight headwater streams bordered either with mixed deciduous forest or with beech forest. The variety of leaf litter types in mixed forest results in higher food quality for large-particle invertebrate detritivores ('shredders') than in beech forest, which is dominated by a single leaf species of low quality. Breakdown rate of low quality (oak) leaf litter in coarse mesh bags was lower in beech forest streams than in mixed forest streams, a consequence of lower shredder biomass. In contrast, high quality (alder) leaf litter broke down at similar rates in both stream categories as a result of similar shredder biomass in coarse mesh bags. Microbial breakdown rate of oak and alder leaves, determined in fine mesh bags, did not differ between the stream categories. We found however aquatic hyphomycete species richness on leaf litter to positively co-vary with riparian plant species richness. Fungal species richness may enhance leaf litter breakdown rate through positive effects on resource quality for shredders. A feeding experiment established a positive relationship between fungal species richness per se and leaf litter consumption rate by an amphipod shredder (Gammarus fossarum). Our results show therefore that plant species richness may indirectly govern ecosystem functioning through complex trophic interactions. Integrating microbial diversity and trophic dynamics would considerably improve the prediction of the consequences of species loss.

  4. Local adaptation of stream communities to intraspecific variation in a terrestrial ecosystem subsidy.

    PubMed

    Jackrel, Sara L; Wootton, J Timothy

    2014-01-01

    Cross-ecosystem fluxes can intertwine otherwise disparate food webs, but the effects of biodiversity at the genotypic level on fluxes across ecosystems boundaries is not known. Fresh leaves, which vary in traits such as defensive compounds against terrestrial herbivores, drop off trees and enter streams, providing a vital resource for riverine organisms. We demonstrate substantial variation in decomposition rates among individual trees in four different rivers in the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, USA. We show that locally derived red alder leaf litter decomposes on average 24% faster than red alder leaf litter introduced from other riparian zones. Within rivers, leaves downstream of their parent trees decompose nearly as quickly as leaves from local trees. Leaves upstream of the parent tree decomposed as slowly as leaves from trees growing alongside different rivers. Over time, aquatic decomposer communities have locally adapted to the specific trees supplying the riparian subsidies. In energy-limited environments, such as small shaded streams, consumers must be efficient foragers. Our results indicate that this pressure for efficiency has led to adaptation at a particularly fine scale. More broadly, these results illustrate how genetic diversity and the effects of selection in one ecosystem can indirectly shape the structure of other ecosystems through ecological fluxes across boundaries. PMID:24649644

  5. A test of the effects of timing of a pulsed resource subsidy on stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sato, Takuya; El-Sabaawi, Rana W; Campbell, Kirsten; Ohta, Tamihisa; Richardson, John S

    2016-09-01

    Spatial resource subsidies can alter bottom-up and top-down forces of community regulation across ecosystem boundaries. Most subsidies are temporally variable, and recent theory has suggested that consumer-resource dynamics can be stabilized if the peak timing of a subsidy is desynchronized with that of prey productivity in the recipient ecosystem. However, magnitude of consumer responses per se could depend on the subsidy timing, which may be a critical component for community dynamics and ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test (i) whether a recipient consumer (cutthroat trout) responds differently to a resource subsidy occurring early in its growing season than to a subsidy occurring late in the season and, if this is the case, (ii) whether the timing-dependent consumer response has cascading effects on communities and ecosystem functions in streams. To test those hypotheses, we conducted a large-scale field experiment, in which we directly manipulated the timing of augmentation of the terrestrial invertebrates that enter stream (i.e. peak timing of June-August vs. August-October), keeping constant the total amounts of the invertebrates entered. We found large increases in the individual growth rate and population biomass of the cutthroat trout, in response to the early resource pulse, but not to the late pulse. This timing-dependent consumer response cascaded down to reduce benthic invertebrates and leaf breakdown rate, and increased water nutrient concentrations. Furthermore, the early resource pulse resulted in higher maturity rate of the cutthroat trout in the following spring, demonstrating the importance of the subsidy timing on long-term community dynamics via the consumer's numerical response. Our results emphasize the need to acknowledge timing-dependent consumer responses in understanding the effects of subsidies on communities and ecosystem processes. Elucidating the mechanisms by which consumers effectively exploit pulsed subsidies is

  6. How do grazers affect periphyton heterogeneity in streams?

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Maruxa; Peckarsky, Barbara L

    2005-02-01

    The effects of grazing by stream invertebrates on algal biomass and spatial heterogeneity were tested experimentally in flow-through microcosms with natural substrates (rocks). One experiment tested the effects of fixed densities of three species of grazers (the caddisfly Allomyia sp. and two mayflies, Epeorus deceptivus and Baetis bicaudatus) on periphyton. Baetis was tested with and without chemical cues from fish predators, which reduced grazer foraging activity to levels similar to the less mobile mayfly (Epeorus). Mean algal biomass (chlorophyll a; chl a) was reduced in grazer treatments compared to ungrazed controls, but there were no differences among grazer treatments. Algal heterogeneity (Morisita index) increased with grazer mobility, with the highest heterogeneity occurring in the Baetis-no fish treatment (most mobile grazer) and the lowest in the caddisfly treatment (most sedentary grazer). A second experiment used a three factorial design, and tested whether initial resource distribution (homogeneous vs. heterogeneous), Baetis density (high vs. low) and fish odor (present vs. absent) affected grazer impact on algal resources. Abundances of Baetis and chl a on individual rocks were recorded to explore the mechanisms responsible for the observed distributions of algae. Initial resource heterogeneity was maintained despite being subjected to grazing. Mean chl a was highest in controls, as in experiment I, and effects of Baetis on algal biomass increased with grazer density. There were no fish effects on algal biomass and no effects of grazer density or fish on algal heterogeneity. At the scale of individual rocks Baetis was unselective when food was homogeneously distributed, but chose high-food rocks when it was heterogeneously distributed. Results of these mechanistic experiments showed that Baetis can track resources at the scale of single rocks; and at moderate densities mobile grazers could potentially maintain periphyton distributions observed in

  7. MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF DIATOM ASSEMBLAGES IN STREAMS IN TWO HYDROGEOMORPHIC REGIONS WITHIN THE NORTHERN LAKES AND FOREST ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    An ordination approach was used to explore relationships among macroinvertebrate, habitat and landscape variables associated with diatom assemblages in streams within the Northern Lakes and Forest Ecosystem in two different hydrogeomorphic regions (i.e. the North Shore Highlands ...

  8. Advantages of geographically weighted regression for modeling benthic substrate in two Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sheehan, Kenneth R.; Strager, Michael P.; Welsh, Stuart

    2013-01-01

    Stream habitat assessments are commonplace in fish management, and often involve nonspatial analysis methods for quantifying or predicting habitat, such as ordinary least squares regression (OLS). Spatial relationships, however, often exist among stream habitat variables. For example, water depth, water velocity, and benthic substrate sizes within streams are often spatially correlated and may exhibit spatial nonstationarity or inconsistency in geographic space. Thus, analysis methods should address spatial relationships within habitat datasets. In this study, OLS and a recently developed method, geographically weighted regression (GWR), were used to model benthic substrate from water depth and water velocity data at two stream sites within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. For data collection, each site was represented by a grid of 0.1 m2 cells, where actual values of water depth, water velocity, and benthic substrate class were measured for each cell. Accuracies of regressed substrate class data by OLS and GWR methods were calculated by comparing maps, parameter estimates, and determination coefficient r 2. For analysis of data from both sites, Akaike’s Information Criterion corrected for sample size indicated the best approximating model for the data resulted from GWR and not from OLS. Adjusted r 2 values also supported GWR as a better approach than OLS for prediction of substrate. This study supports GWR (a spatial analysis approach) over nonspatial OLS methods for prediction of habitat for stream habitat assessments.

  9. Whole-stream nitrate addition affects litter decomposition and associated fungi but not invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Verónica; Gulis, Vladislav; Graça, Manuel A S

    2006-10-01

    We assessed the effect of whole-stream nitrate enrichment on decomposition of three substrates differing in nutrient quality (alder and oak leaves and balsa veneers) and associated fungi and invertebrates. During the 3-month nitrate enrichment of a headwater stream in central Portugal, litter was incubated in the reference site (mean NO3-N 82 microg l-1) and four enriched sites along the nitrate gradient (214-983 microg NO3-N l-1). A similar decomposition experiment was also carried out in the same sites at ambient nutrient conditions the following year (33-104 microg NO3-N l-1). Decomposition rates and sporulation of aquatic hyphomycetes associated with litter were determined in both experiments, whereas N and P content of litter, associated fungal biomass and invertebrates were followed only during the nitrate addition experiment. Nitrate enrichment stimulated decomposition of oak leaves and balsa veneers, fungal biomass accrual on alder leaves and balsa veneers and sporulation of aquatic hyphomycetes on all substrates. Nitrate concentration in stream water showed a strong asymptotic relationship (Michaelis-Menten-type saturation model) with temperature-adjusted decomposition rates and percentage initial litter mass converted into aquatic hyphomycete conidia for all substrates. Fungal communities did not differ significantly among sites but some species showed substrate preferences. Nevertheless, certain species were sensitive to nitrogen concentration in water by increasing or decreasing their sporulation rate accordingly. N and P content of litter and abundances or richness of litter-associated invertebrates were not affected by nitrate addition. It appears that microbial nitrogen demands can be met at relatively low levels of dissolved nitrate, suggesting that even minor increases in nitrogen in streams due to, e.g., anthropogenic eutrophication may lead to significant shifts in microbial dynamics and ecosystem functioning.

  10. Spatial and successional dynamics of microbial biofilm communities in a grassland stream ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Veach, Allison M; Stegen, James C; Brown, Shawn P; Dodds, Walter K; Jumpponen, Ari

    2016-09-01

    Biofilms represent a metabolically active and structurally complex component of freshwater ecosystems. Ephemeral prairie streams are hydrologically harsh and prone to frequent perturbation. Elucidating both functional and structural community changes over time within prairie streams provides a general understanding of microbial responses to environmental disturbance. We examined microbial succession of biofilm communities at three sites in a third-order stream at Konza Prairie over a 2- to 64-day period. Microbial abundance (bacterial abundance, chlorophyll a concentrations) increased and never plateaued during the experiment. Net primary productivity (net balance of oxygen consumption and production) of the developing biofilms did not differ statistically from zero until 64 days suggesting a balance of the use of autochthonous and allochthonous energy sources until late succession. Bacterial communities (MiSeq analyses of the V4 region of 16S rRNA) established quickly. Bacterial richness, diversity and evenness were high after 2 days and increased over time. Several dominant bacterial phyla (Beta-, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi) and genera (Luteolibacter, Flavobacterium, Gemmatimonas, Hydrogenophaga) differed in relative abundance over space and time. Bacterial community composition differed across both space and successional time. Pairwise comparisons of phylogenetic turnover in bacterial community composition indicated that early-stage succession (≤16 days) was driven by stochastic processes, whereas later stages were driven by deterministic selection regardless of site. Our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. PMID:27481285

  11. Sampling effort affects multivariate comparisons of stream assemblages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cao, Y.; Larsen, D.P.; Hughes, R.M.; Angermeier, P.L.; Patton, T.M.

    2002-01-01

    Multivariate analyses are used widely for determining patterns of assemblage structure, inferring species-environment relationships and assessing human impacts on ecosystems. The estimation of ecological patterns often depends on sampling effort, so the degree to which sampling effort affects the outcome of multivariate analyses is a concern. We examined the effect of sampling effort on site and group separation, which was measured using a mean similarity method. Two similarity measures, the Jaccard Coefficient and Bray-Curtis Index were investigated with 1 benthic macroinvertebrate and 2 fish data sets. Site separation was significantly improved with increased sampling effort because the similarity between replicate samples of a site increased more rapidly than between sites. Similarly, the faster increase in similarity between sites of the same group than between sites of different groups caused clearer separation between groups. The strength of site and group separation completely stabilized only when the mean similarity between replicates reached 1. These results are applicable to commonly used multivariate techniques such as cluster analysis and ordination because these multivariate techniques start with a similarity matrix. Completely stable outcomes of multivariate analyses are not feasible. Instead, we suggest 2 criteria for estimating the stability of multivariate analyses of assemblage data: 1) mean within-site similarity across all sites compared, indicating sample representativeness, and 2) the SD of within-site similarity across sites, measuring sample comparability.

  12. Forecasting the combined effects of urbanization and climate change on stream ecosystems: from impacts to management options

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, Kären C.; Palmer, Margaret A.; Pizzuto, James E.; Moglen, Glenn E.; Angermeier, Paul L.; Hilderbrand, Robert H.; Dettinger, Mike; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    Synthesis and applications. The interaction of climate change and urban growth may entail significant reconfiguring of headwater streams, including a loss of ecosystem structure and services, which will be more costly than climate change alone. On local scales, stakeholders cannot control climate drivers but they can mitigate stream impacts via careful land use. Therefore, to conserve stream ecosystems, we recommend that proactive measures be taken to insure against species loss or severe population declines. Delays will inevitably exacerbate the impacts of both climate change and urbanization on headwater systems.

  13. Effects of the herbicide metazachlor on macrophytes and ecosystem function in freshwater pond and stream mesocosms.

    PubMed

    Mohr, S; Berghahn, R; Feibicke, M; Meinecke, S; Ottenströer, T; Schmiedling, I; Schmiediche, R; Schmidt, R

    2007-05-01

    The chloroacetamide metazachlor is a commonly used pre-emergent herbicide to inhibit growth of plants especially in rape culture. It occurs in surface and ground water due to spray-drift or run-off in concentrations up to 100 microgL(-1). Direct and indirect effects of metazachlor on aquatic macrophytes were investigated at oligo- to mesotrophic nutrient levels employing eight stream and eight pond indoor mesocosms. Five systems of each type were dosed once with 5, 20, 80, 200 and 500 microgL(-1) metazachlor and three ponds and three streams served as controls. Pronounced direct negative effects on macrophyte biomass of Potamogeton natans, Myriophyllum verticillatum and filamentous green algae as well as associated changes in water chemistry were detected in the course of the summer 2003 in both pond and stream mesocosms. Filamentous green algae dominated by Cladophora glomerata were the most sensitive organisms in both pond and stream systems with EC(50) ranging from 3 (streams) to 9 (ponds) microgL(-1) metazachlor. In the contaminated pond mesocosms with high toxicant concentrations (200 and 500 microgL(-1)), a species shift from filamentous green algae to the yellow-green alga Vaucheria spec. was detected. The herbicide effects for the different macrophyte species were partly masked by interspecific competition. No recovery of macrophytes was observed at the highest metazachlor concentrations in both pond and stream mesocosms until the end of the study after 140 and 170 days. Based on the lowest EC(50) value of 4 microgL(-1) for total macrophyte biomass, it is argued that single exposure of aquatic macrophytes to metazachlor to nominal concentrations >5 microgL(-1) is likely to have pronounced long-term effects on aquatic biota and ecosystem function. PMID:17353057

  14. Disentangling the multiple stressors acting on stream ecosystems to support restoration priorities.

    PubMed

    Azzellino, A; Canobbio, S; Çevirgen, S; Çervigen, S; Marchesi, V; Piana, A

    2015-01-01

    Stream ecosystems may suffer from the effects of multiple stressors. Planning restoration actions without knowing the relative weight of each stressor might lead to disproportionately costly or ecologically meaningless measures. This is particularly relevant under the EU Water Framework Directive where economic considerations play a role in justifying exemptions from the overarching aim of the directive of achieving the good ecological status in all the EU water bodies by 2015. In this study, we correlated the status of macroinvertebrate assemblages with many environmental variables at 120 monitoring stations (surveyed in 2009-2011) in the streams of Lombardy, Italy. We used a combination of regression techniques to disentangle the effects of the different stressors. Furthermore, different profiles of ecological quality were associated with the dominant stressors. Finally, examples are given about how these study findings provide elements to identify restoration scenarios that maximize the effectiveness/cost ratio.

  15. Organic matter and nutrient cycling in linked glacier-stream ecosystems along the Gulf of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, D.; Hood, E. W.; Nassry, M. Q.; Vermilyea, A.

    2010-12-01

    Glacial ecosystems cover approximately 10% of the Earth’s surface and contribute large volumes of runoff to rivers and coastal oceans. Moreover, anticipated future changes in glacial runoff are markedly larger than those projected for non-glacial river systems. Recent research on the biogeochemistry of glacier ecosystems has shown that glacier environments contain abundant microbial communities and are more biogeochemically active than was previously believed. Runoff from glaciers typically contains low concentrations of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and nutrients, however at low latitudes and in coastal regions, high water fluxes can amplify material concentrations, such that biogeochemical (C, N, and P) fluxes from glacial watersheds can be substantial. As a result, glacier runoff has the potential to be an important biogeochemical subsidy to downstream freshwater and marine ecosystems. Glaciers in coastal watersheds along the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) are thinning and receding at rapid rates, leading to a transition from ecosystems dominated by glacial ice and rock to ecosystems containing developed soils and vegetation. Within this context, we are examining how the quality and quantity of carbon and nutrients within stream networks changes as a function of landcover. Our research is focused on a series of watersheds, primarily in southeastern Alaska, that range in glacier coverage from 0 to >60%. We are using these watersheds to substitute space for time and begin to unravel how both the magnitude and timing of watershed fluxes of C, N, and P may change as glaciers continue to recede. Our previous results have shown that different levels of glacial coverage alter the timing and magnitude of fresh water, dissolved organic matter and nutrient yields. Our results suggest that a lower extent of glacial coverage within a watershed leads to higher amounts of dissolved organic matter, but decreased phosphorous yields. We have also found that the glaciers are a

  16. Quantifying the dynamic coupling of hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in stream ecosystems: examples from streams in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, D. M.; Lyons, W. B.; Gooseff, M. N.; Koch, J. C.; Neupauer, R.; Cozzetto, K.; Bencala, K.; Cullis, J. D.

    2014-12-01

    While continuous monitoring of stream flow and stream temperature has been a widely used resource for some time, currently there is great potential to expand continuous monitoring to include important water quality parameters such as nutrients and dissolved organic material. In many systems distinguishing between watershed and stream ecosystem controls can be challenging, and the usefulness of such monitoring can be enhanced by application of quantitative models to interpret observed patterns. The glacial meltwater streams of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are surrounded by large expanses of patterned ground devoid of plants. In contrast, many streams have thriving cyanobacterial mats that are freeze-dried through the winter and begin photosynthesis with the onset of flow. Thus, the daily signal in terms of biogeochemical processes controlling water quality is generated within the stream. As part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research project, we have conducted field experiments and developed coupled biogeochemical transport models for the role of hyporheic exchange in controlling weathering of major ions, microbial cycling of nitrogen species, and streams temperature regulation. We have also adapted modelling approaches from sediment transport to understand mobilization of stream biomass with increasing flows. These models are relevant to understanding the role of in-stream processes in diverse stream systems where watershed processes also contribute to observed patterns.

  17. Assessing land-use effects on water quality, in-stream habitat, riparian ecosystems and biodiversity in Patagonian northwest streams.

    PubMed

    Miserendino, María Laura; Casaux, Ricardo; Archangelsky, Miguel; Di Prinzio, Cecilia Yanina; Brand, Cecilia; Kutschker, Adriana Mabel

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land-use practices have affected the integrity and quality of water resources worldwide. In Patagonia there is a strong concern about the ecological status of surface waters because these changes are rapidly occurring in the region. To test the hypothesis that greater intensity of land-use will have negative effects on water quality, stream habitat and biodiversity we assessed benthic macroinvertebrates, riparian/littoral invertebrates, fish and birds from the riparian corridor and environmental variables of 15 rivers (Patagonia) subjected to a gradient of land-use practices (non-managed native forest, managed native forest, pine plantations, pasture, urbanization). A total of 158 macroinvertebrate taxa, 105 riparian/littoral invertebrate taxa, 5 fish species, 34 bird species, and 15 aquatic plant species, were recorded considering all sites. Urban land-use produced the most significant changes in streams including physical features, conductivity, nutrients, habitat condition, riparian quality and invertebrate metrics. Pasture and managed native forest sites appeared in an intermediate situation. The highest values of fish and bird abundance and diversity were observed at disturbed sites; this might be explained by the opportunistic behavior displayed by these communities which let them take advantage of increased trophic resources in these environments. As expected, non-managed native forest sites showed the highest integrity of ecological conditions and also great biodiversity of benthic communities. Macroinvertebrate metrics that reflected good water quality were positively related to forest land cover and negatively related to urban and pasture land cover. However, by offering stream edge areas, pasture sites still supported rich communities of riparian/littoral invertebrates, increasing overall biodiversity. Macroinvertebrates were good indicators of land-use impact and water quality conditions and resulted useful tools to early alert of

  18. Assessing land-use effects on water quality, in-stream habitat, riparian ecosystems and biodiversity in Patagonian northwest streams.

    PubMed

    Miserendino, María Laura; Casaux, Ricardo; Archangelsky, Miguel; Di Prinzio, Cecilia Yanina; Brand, Cecilia; Kutschker, Adriana Mabel

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land-use practices have affected the integrity and quality of water resources worldwide. In Patagonia there is a strong concern about the ecological status of surface waters because these changes are rapidly occurring in the region. To test the hypothesis that greater intensity of land-use will have negative effects on water quality, stream habitat and biodiversity we assessed benthic macroinvertebrates, riparian/littoral invertebrates, fish and birds from the riparian corridor and environmental variables of 15 rivers (Patagonia) subjected to a gradient of land-use practices (non-managed native forest, managed native forest, pine plantations, pasture, urbanization). A total of 158 macroinvertebrate taxa, 105 riparian/littoral invertebrate taxa, 5 fish species, 34 bird species, and 15 aquatic plant species, were recorded considering all sites. Urban land-use produced the most significant changes in streams including physical features, conductivity, nutrients, habitat condition, riparian quality and invertebrate metrics. Pasture and managed native forest sites appeared in an intermediate situation. The highest values of fish and bird abundance and diversity were observed at disturbed sites; this might be explained by the opportunistic behavior displayed by these communities which let them take advantage of increased trophic resources in these environments. As expected, non-managed native forest sites showed the highest integrity of ecological conditions and also great biodiversity of benthic communities. Macroinvertebrate metrics that reflected good water quality were positively related to forest land cover and negatively related to urban and pasture land cover. However, by offering stream edge areas, pasture sites still supported rich communities of riparian/littoral invertebrates, increasing overall biodiversity. Macroinvertebrates were good indicators of land-use impact and water quality conditions and resulted useful tools to early alert of

  19. Salinization alters fluxes of bioreactive elements from stream ecosystems across land use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, S.; Kaushal, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    There has been increased salinization of fresh water over decades due to the use of road salt deicers, wastewater discharges, saltwater intrusion, human-accelerated weathering, and groundwater irrigation. Salinization can mobilize bioreactive elements (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur) chemically via ion exchange and/or biologically via influencing of microbial activity. However, the effects of salinization on coupled biogeochemical cycles are still not well understood. We investigated potential impacts of increased salinization on fluxes of bioreactive elements from stream ecosystems (sediments and riparian soils) to overlying stream water and evaluated the implications of percent urban land use on salinization effects. Two-day incubations of sediments and soils with stream and deionized water across three salt levels were conducted at eight routine monitoring stations across a land-use gradient at the Baltimore Ecosystem Study Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Results indicated (1) salinization typically increased sediment releases of labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), total dissolved Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) (ammonium + ammonia + dissolved organic nitrogen), and sediment transformations of nitrate; (2) salinization generally decreased DOC aromaticity and fluxes of soluble reactive phosphorus from both sediments and soils; (3) the effects of increased salinization on sediment releases of DOC and TKN and DOC quality increased with percentage watershed urbanization. Biogeochemical responses to salinization varied between sediments and riparian soils in releases of DOC and DIC, and nitrate transformations. The differential responses of riparian soils and sediments to increased salinization were likely due to differences in organic matter sources and composition. Our results suggest that short-term increases in salinization can cause releases of significant amounts of labile organic

  20. Moving Beyond Whole-stream Tracer Injections to Understand the Role of Flow and Geomorphic Variability in Stream and River Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Flow in aquatic ecosystems affects ecological processes by influencing how sediments and nutrients are stored and transformed. Decades of tracer-addition experiments in streams have been central in revealing the key physical-biological linkages. The averaging of heterogeneous processes made possible by injecting tracers during steady baseflow conditions has allowed the individual roles of transport, storage, and biogeochemical reactions that influence stream ecological health to be clearly separated. However, fluvial systems are inherently unsteady, with flow and sediment transport continually readjusting to one another. Also, very few investigators have addressed effects of temporal variability in flow or interactions that occur between hydrologic or geomorphic processes. Thus, whole-stream tracer addition experiments often end up having limited transferability beyond the very specific flow and geomorphic conditions under which the experiments were conducted. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition that, no matter what measurement technique is used (e.g. hydraulic or tracer-based) or what model is employed, the results are almost always limited by a "window of detection" that is determined by measurement spacing and frequency, sensitivity, and by experiment duration. To counter these challenges, field investigators are increasingly supplementing whole-stream injections with additional measurements that help address different spatial and temporal scales. Furthermore they are often using multi-scale models to more fully evaluate of the full spectrum of water fluxes and biogeochemical reaction rates involved. Often the goal is to identify the combinations of flow and geomorphic conditions which enhance a particular biogeochemical reaction (e.g. dentrification, removal of toxic metals, etc.), or to rank by importance the extent of reactions occurring in different sub-environments. Examples of studies in streams, wetlands, and floodplains range in spatial scale

  1. spatial and temporal distribution of nutrients in a linked stream-lake ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalinin, A. V.; Covino, T. P.; McGlynn, B. L.

    2011-12-01

    The movement of nutrients between streams and lakes can impact nutrient export and aquatic ecology in linked stream-lake ecosystems. Specifically, lakes can alter water chemistry and buffer downstream export of nutrients through physical, chemical, and biological processes. This study characterizes nitrogen storage and transport dynamics in a connected stream-lake ecosystem over the summer of 2008 in the Bull Trout Lake Watershed in the Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho, USA. Water samples were collected for chemical analyses at the lake inflow, outflow, and at six sites across the lake, on hourly to bi-weekly intervals. Lake sampling sites were each sampled at six depths in order to capture all strata of the lake. Additionally, a dye-tracer (Rhodamine-WT) was co-injected with LiCl into the lake to determine water flow-paths and residence time distributions. Inflow and outflow fluxes, spatial and temporal distributions of dissolved organic nitrogen(DON) and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN), as well as water residence times at different lake depths were evaluated. Over the summer of 2008, net influx of NO3 to the lake and net export of DON and NH4 from the lake was observed. While NO3 dominated the DIN fraction at the inflow, NH4 was dominant both at the lake outflow and within the lake, suggesting potential contributions of NH4 to the lake from adjacent wetland and groundwater sources. Differences in transport dynamics between NO3 and NH4, and temporal concentration dynamics both in the stream and lake support this hypothesis. NO3 concentrations were driven by snowmelt flushing and peaked with the hydrograph, subsequently declining for the rest of the summer. NH4 concentrations however remained stable and peaked three weeks after NO3 at the lake outflow, at a time when the contribution of snow melt water had declined and groundwater contribution increased proportionally. In the lake, NH4 and DON concentrations declined during peak runoff in May and June, and

  2. Experimental evaluation of evolution and coevolution as agents of ecosystem change in Trinidadian streams.

    PubMed

    Palkovacs, Eric P; Marshall, Michael C; Lamphere, Brad A; Lynch, Benjamin R; Weese, Dylan J; Fraser, Douglas F; Reznick, David N; Pringle, Catherine M; Kinnison, Michael T

    2009-06-12

    Evolution has been shown to be a critical determinant of ecological processes in some systems, but its importance relative to traditional ecological effects is not well known. In addition, almost nothing is known about the role of coevolution in shaping ecosystem function. Here, we experimentally evaluated the relative effects of species invasion (a traditional ecological effect), evolution and coevolution on ecosystem processes in Trinidadian streams. We manipulated the presence and population-of-origin of two common fish species, the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) and the killifish (Rivulus hartii). We measured epilithic algal biomass and accrual, aquatic invertebrate biomass, and detrital decomposition. Our results show that, for some ecosystem responses, the effects of evolution and coevolution were larger than the effects of species invasion. Guppy evolution in response to alternative predation regimes significantly influenced algal biomass and accrual rates. Guppies from a high-predation site caused an increase in algae relative to guppies from a low-predation site; algae effects were probably shaped by observed divergence in rates of nutrient excretion and algae consumption. Rivulus-guppy coevolution significantly influenced the biomass of aquatic invertebrates. Locally coevolved populations reduced invertebrate biomass relative to non-coevolved populations. These results challenge the general assumption that intraspecific diversity is a less critical determinant of ecosystem function than is interspecific diversity. Given existing evidence for contemporary evolution in these fish species, our findings suggest considerable potential for eco-evolutionary feedbacks to operate as populations adapt to natural or anthropogenic perturbations. PMID:19414475

  3. Factors affecting nitrification in situ in a heated stream.

    PubMed Central

    White, J P; Schwert, D P; Ondrako, J P; Morgan, L L

    1977-01-01

    Nitrification, previously shown to occur in the stream under study, ensued only when the stream received heated (28 degree C or above) discharges and was negligible when water temperatures were 17 degree C or lower. The most probable number os ammonium oxidizer in stream bed sediments exceeded intrite oxidizers by ratios of 43:1 to 1,113:1, and the average rate of ammonium oxidation in this stream, 0.50 mg of NH4-N/liter per h exceeded the rate of nitrite oxidation, 0.29 mg of NO2-N/liter per h, resulting in an accumulation of nitrite. Nitrification rates were influenced by the dissolved oxygen concentration, increasing during daylight hours and exhibiting maximum rates during the summer months. PMID:869538

  4. Catchment disturbance and stream metabolism: Patterns in ecosystem respiration and gross primary production along a gradient of upland soil and vegetation disturbance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houser, J.N.; Mulholland, P.J.; Maloney, K.O.

    2005-01-01

    Catchment characteristics determine the inputs of sediments and nutrients to streams. As a result, natural or anthropogenic disturbance of upland soil and vegetation can affect instream processes. The Fort Benning Military Installation (near Columbus, Georgia) exhibits a wide range of upland disturbance levels because of spatial variability in the intensity of military training. This gradient of disturbance was used to investigate the effect of upland soil and vegetation disturbance on rates of stream metabolism (ecosystem respiration rate [ER] and gross primary production rate [GPP]). Stream metabolism was measured using an open-system, single-station approach. All streams were net heterotrophic during all seasons. ER was highest in winter and spring and lowest in summer and autumn. ER was negatively correlated with catchment disturbance level in winter, spring, and summer, but not in autumn. ER was positively correlated with abundance of coarse woody debris, but not significantly related to % benthic organic matter. GPP was low in all streams and generally not significantly correlated with disturbance level. Our results suggest that the generally intact riparian zones of these streams were not sufficient to protect them from the effect of upland disturbance, and they emphasize the role of the entire catchment in determining stream structure and function. ?? 2005 by The North American Benthological Society.

  5. Potential for real-time understanding of coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in stream ecosystems: Future integration of telemetered data with process models for glacial meltwater streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, Diane M.; Cozzetto, Karen; Cullis, James D. S.; Gooseff, Michael N.; Jaros, Christopher; Koch, Joshua C.; Lyons, W. Berry; Neupauer, Roseanna; Wlostowski, Adam

    2015-08-01

    While continuous monitoring of streamflow and temperature has been common for some time, there is great potential to expand continuous monitoring to include water quality parameters such as nutrients, turbidity, oxygen, and dissolved organic material. In many systems, distinguishing between watershed and stream ecosystem controls can be challenging. The usefulness of such monitoring can be enhanced by the application of quantitative models to interpret observed patterns in real time. Examples are discussed primarily from the glacial meltwater streams of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Although the Dry Valley landscape is barren of plants, many streams harbor thriving cyanobacterial mats. Whereas a daily cycle of streamflow is controlled by the surface energy balance on the glaciers and the temporal pattern of solar exposure, the daily signal for biogeochemical processes controlling water quality is generated along the stream. These features result in an excellent outdoor laboratory for investigating fundamental ecosystem process and the development and validation of process-based models. As part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research project, we have conducted field experiments and developed coupled biogeochemical transport models for the role of hyporheic exchange in controlling weathering reactions, microbial nitrogen cycling, and stream temperature regulation. We have adapted modeling approaches from sediment transport to understand mobilization of stream biomass with increasing flows. These models help to elucidate the role of in-stream processes in systems where watershed processes also contribute to observed patterns, and may serve as a test case for applying real-time stream ecosystem models.

  6. Stream ecosystem responses to the 2007 spring freeze in the Southeastern United States: unexpected effects of climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Mulholland, Patrick J; Roberts, Brian J; Hill, Walter; Smith, John G

    2009-01-01

    Some expected changes in climate resulting from human greenhouse gas emissions are clear and well documented, but others may be harder to predict because they involve extreme weather events or heretofore unusual combinations of weather patterns. One recent example of unusual weather that may become more frequent with climate change occurred in early spring 2007 when a large Arctic air mass moved into the eastern United States following a very warm late winter. In this paper, we document effects of this freeze event on Walker Branch, a well-studied stream ecosystem in eastern Tennessee. The 2007 spring freeze killed newly grown leaf tissues in the forest canopy, dramatically increasing the amount of light reaching the stream. Light levels at the stream surface were sustained at levels considerably above those normal for the late spring and summer months due to the incomplete recovery of canopy leaf area. Increased light levels caused a cascade of ecological effects in the stream beginning with considerably higher (two-three times) rates of gross primary production (GPP) during the late spring and summer months when normally low light levels severely limit stream GPP. Higher rates of stream GPP in turn resulted in higher rates of nitrate (NO3-) uptake by the autotrophic community and lower NO3- concentrations in stream water. Higher rates of stream GPP in summer also resulted in higher growth rates of a dominant herbivore, the snail Elimia clavaeformis. Typically, during summer months net NO3- uptake and snail growth rates are zero to negative; however, in 2007 uptake and growth were maintained at moderate levels. These results show how changes in forest vegetation phenology can have dramatic effects on stream productivity at multiple trophic levels and on nutrient cycling as a result of tight coupling of forest and stream ecosystems. Thus, climate change-induced changes in canopy structure and phenology may lead to large effects on stream ecosystems in the future.

  7. Reach-scale effects of riparian forest cover on urban stream ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roy, A.H.; Faust, C.L.; Freeman, Mary C.; Meyer, J.L.

    2005-01-01

    We compared habitat and biota between paired open and forested reaches within five small streams (basin area 10?20 km2) in suburban catchments (9%?49% urban land cover) in the Piedmont of Georgia, USA. Stream reaches with open canopies were narrower than forested reaches (4.1 versus 5.0 m, respectively). There were no differences in habitat diversity (variation in velocity, depth, or bed particle size) between open and forested reaches. However, absence of local forest cover corresponded to decreased large wood and increased algal chlorophyll a standing crop biomass. These differences in basal food resources translated into higher densities of fishes in open (9.0 individuals?m?2) versus forested (4.9 individuals?m?2) reaches, primarily attributed to higher densities of the herbivore Campostoma oligolepis. Densities of terrestrial invertebrate inputs were higher in open reaches; however, trends suggested higher biomass of terrestrial inputs in forested reaches and a corresponding higher density of terrestrial prey consumed by water column feeding fishes. Reach-scale biotic integrity (macroinvertebrates, salamanders, and fishes) was largely unaffected by differences in canopy cover. In urbanizing areas where catchment land cover drives habitat and biotic quality, management practices that rely exclusively on forested riparian areas for stream protection are unlikely to be effective at maintaining ecosystem integrity.

  8. Measuring aerobic respiration in stream ecosystems using the resazurin-resorufin system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    GonzáLez-Pinzón, Ricardo; Haggerty, Roy; Myrold, David D.

    2012-09-01

    The use of smart tracers to study hydrologic systems is becoming more widespread. Smart tracers are compounds that irreversibly react in the presence of a process or condition under investigation. Resazurin (Raz) is a smart tracer that undergoes an irreversible reduction to resorufin (Rru) in the presence of cellular metabolic activity. We quantified the relationship between the transformation of Raz and aerobic bacterial respiration in pure culture experiments using two obligate aerobes and two facultative anaerobes, and in colonized surface and shallow (<10 cm) hyporheic sediments using reach-scale experiments. We found that the transformation of Raz to Rru was nearly perfectly (minr2 = 0.986), positively correlated with aerobic microbial respiration in all experiments. These results suggest that Raz can be used as a surrogate to measure respiration in situ and in vivoat different spatial scales, thus providing an alternative to investigate mechanistic controls of solute transport and stream metabolism on nutrient processing. Lastly, a comparison of respiration and mass-transfer rates in streams suggests that field-scale respiration is controlled by the slower of respiration and mass transfer, highlighting the need to understand both biogeochemistry and physics in stream ecosystems.

  9. Quantitative food web analysis supports the energy-limitation hypothesis in cave stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Venarsky, Michael P; Huntsman, Brock M; Huryn, Alexander D; Benstead, Jonathan P; Kuhajda, Bernard R

    2014-11-01

    Energy limitation has long been the primary assumption underlying conceptual models of evolutionary and ecological processes in cave ecosystems. However, the prediction that cave communities are actually energy-limited in the sense that constituent populations are consuming all or most of their resource supply is untested. We assessed the energy-limitation hypothesis in three cave streams in northeastern Alabama (USA) by combining measurements of animal production, demand, and resource supplies (detritus, primarily decomposing wood particles). Comparisons of animal consumption and detritus supply rates in each cave showed that all, or nearly all, available detritus was required to support macroinvertebrate production. Furthermore, only a small amount of macroinvertebrate prey production remained to support other predatory taxa (i.e., cave fish and salamanders) after accounting for crayfish consumption. Placing the energy demands of a cave community within the context of resource supply rates provided quantitative support for the energy-limitation hypothesis, confirming the mechanism (limited energy surpluses) that likely influences the evolutionary processes and population dynamics that shape cave communities. Detritus-based surface ecosystems often have large detrital surpluses. Thus, cave ecosystems, which show minimal surpluses, occupy the extreme oligotrophic end of the spectrum of detritus-based food webs.

  10. Quantifying Urban Watershed Stressor Gradients and Evaluating How Different Land Cover Datasets Affect Stream Management.

    PubMed

    Smucker, Nathan J; Kuhn, Anne; Charpentier, Michael A; Cruz-Quinones, Carlos J; Elonen, Colleen M; Whorley, Sarah B; Jicha, Terri M; Serbst, Jonathan R; Hill, Brian H; Wehr, John D

    2016-03-01

    Watershed management and policies affecting downstream ecosystems benefit from identifying relationships between land cover and water quality. However, different data sources can create dissimilarities in land cover estimates and models that characterize ecosystem responses. We used a spatially balanced stream study (1) to effectively sample development and urban stressor gradients while representing the extent of a large coastal watershed (>4400 km(2)), (2) to document differences between estimates of watershed land cover using 30-m resolution national land cover database (NLCD) and <1-m resolution land cover data, and (3) to determine if predictive models and relationships between water quality and land cover differed when using these two land cover datasets. Increased concentrations of nutrients, anions, and cations had similarly significant correlations with increased watershed percent impervious cover (IC), regardless of data resolution. The NLCD underestimated percent forest for 71/76 sites by a mean of 11 % and overestimated percent wetlands for 71/76 sites by a mean of 8 %. The NLCD almost always underestimated IC at low development intensities and overestimated IC at high development intensities. As a result of underestimated IC, regression models using NLCD data predicted mean background concentrations of NO3 (-) and Cl(-) that were 475 and 177 %, respectively, of those predicted when using finer resolution land cover data. Our sampling design could help states and other agencies seeking to create monitoring programs and indicators responsive to anthropogenic impacts. Differences between land cover datasets could affect resource protection due to misguided management targets, watershed development and conservation practices, or water quality criteria. PMID:26614349

  11. Quantifying Urban Watershed Stressor Gradients and Evaluating How Different Land Cover Datasets Affect Stream Management.

    PubMed

    Smucker, Nathan J; Kuhn, Anne; Charpentier, Michael A; Cruz-Quinones, Carlos J; Elonen, Colleen M; Whorley, Sarah B; Jicha, Terri M; Serbst, Jonathan R; Hill, Brian H; Wehr, John D

    2016-03-01

    Watershed management and policies affecting downstream ecosystems benefit from identifying relationships between land cover and water quality. However, different data sources can create dissimilarities in land cover estimates and models that characterize ecosystem responses. We used a spatially balanced stream study (1) to effectively sample development and urban stressor gradients while representing the extent of a large coastal watershed (>4400 km(2)), (2) to document differences between estimates of watershed land cover using 30-m resolution national land cover database (NLCD) and <1-m resolution land cover data, and (3) to determine if predictive models and relationships between water quality and land cover differed when using these two land cover datasets. Increased concentrations of nutrients, anions, and cations had similarly significant correlations with increased watershed percent impervious cover (IC), regardless of data resolution. The NLCD underestimated percent forest for 71/76 sites by a mean of 11 % and overestimated percent wetlands for 71/76 sites by a mean of 8 %. The NLCD almost always underestimated IC at low development intensities and overestimated IC at high development intensities. As a result of underestimated IC, regression models using NLCD data predicted mean background concentrations of NO3 (-) and Cl(-) that were 475 and 177 %, respectively, of those predicted when using finer resolution land cover data. Our sampling design could help states and other agencies seeking to create monitoring programs and indicators responsive to anthropogenic impacts. Differences between land cover datasets could affect resource protection due to misguided management targets, watershed development and conservation practices, or water quality criteria.

  12. Quantifying Urban Watershed Stressor Gradients and Evaluating How Different Land Cover Datasets Affect Stream Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smucker, Nathan J.; Kuhn, Anne; Charpentier, Michael A.; Cruz-Quinones, Carlos J.; Elonen, Colleen M.; Whorley, Sarah B.; Jicha, Terri M.; Serbst, Jonathan R.; Hill, Brian H.; Wehr, John D.

    2016-03-01

    Watershed management and policies affecting downstream ecosystems benefit from identifying relationships between land cover and water quality. However, different data sources can create dissimilarities in land cover estimates and models that characterize ecosystem responses. We used a spatially balanced stream study (1) to effectively sample development and urban stressor gradients while representing the extent of a large coastal watershed (>4400 km2), (2) to document differences between estimates of watershed land cover using 30-m resolution national land cover database (NLCD) and <1-m resolution land cover data, and (3) to determine if predictive models and relationships between water quality and land cover differed when using these two land cover datasets. Increased concentrations of nutrients, anions, and cations had similarly significant correlations with increased watershed percent impervious cover (IC), regardless of data resolution. The NLCD underestimated percent forest for 71/76 sites by a mean of 11 % and overestimated percent wetlands for 71/76 sites by a mean of 8 %. The NLCD almost always underestimated IC at low development intensities and overestimated IC at high development intensities. As a result of underestimated IC, regression models using NLCD data predicted mean background concentrations of NO3 - and Cl- that were 475 and 177 %, respectively, of those predicted when using finer resolution land cover data. Our sampling design could help states and other agencies seeking to create monitoring programs and indicators responsive to anthropogenic impacts. Differences between land cover datasets could affect resource protection due to misguided management targets, watershed development and conservation practices, or water quality criteria.

  13. Reactivation of a cryptobiotic stream ecosystem in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: A long-term geomorphological experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKnight, Diane M.; Tate, C.M.; Andrews, E.D.; Niyogi, D.K.; Cozzetto, K.; Welch, K.; Lyons, W.B.; Capone, D.G.

    2007-01-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contain many glacial meltwater streams that flow for 6 to 12??weeks during the austral summer and link the glaciers to the lakes on the valley floors. Dry valley streams gain solutes longitudinally through weathering reactions and microbial processes occurring in the hyporheic zone. Some streams have thriving cyanobacterial mats. In streams with regular summer flow, the mats are freeze-dried through the winter and begin photosynthesizing with the onset of flow. To evaluate the longer term persistence of cyanobacterial mats, we diverted flow to an abandoned channel, which had not received substantial flow for approximately two decades. Monitoring of specific conductance showed that for the first 3??years after the diversion, the solute concentrations were greater in the reactivated channel than in most other dry valley streams. We observed that cyanobacterial mats became abundant in the reactivated channel within a week, indicating that the mats had been preserved in a cryptobiotic state in the channel. Over the next several years, these mats had high rates of productivity and nitrogen fixation compared to mats from other streams. Experiments in which mats from the reactivated channel and another stream were incubated in water from both of the streams indicated that the greater solute concentrations in the reactivated channel stimulated net primary productivity of mats from both streams. These stream-scale experimental results indicate that the cryptobiotic preservation of cyanobacterial mats in abandoned channels in the dry valleys allows for rapid response of these stream ecosystems to climatic and geomorphological change, similar to other arid zone stream ecosystems. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Understanding the Spatial and Temporal Variations in Hormone Transport within the Stream Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallakpour, I.; Ward, A. S.; Basu, N. B.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural, urban, and industrial activities, including land application of manures and discharge of municipal and industrial wastewater, act as point and nonpoint sources for steroid hormones in soils, water, and sediments. Hormones are endocrine disruptors, and their occurrence in stream ecosystems has been implicated in the decline of certain species and change of sex in fish. Laboratory studies indicate that steroid hormones tend to have moderately large sorption coefficients and relatively short half-lives, from a few hours to a few days, suggesting that their persistence and subsequent leaching from soils will be limited. However, these chemicals continue to be detected in streams, indicating that laboratory studies may not capture the coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical dynamics occurring at the field or stream-reach scale. Understanding the spatial and temporal persistence of these chemicals downstream of a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) or wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) requires a coupled hydrologic and biogeochemical model that takes into account multiple interacting species, sediment processes, and different aerobic and anaerobic reaction pathways and rates. In this study, we focus on two hormones, estrone (E1) and 17β-estradiol (E2), with redox dynamics controlling the conversion between E1 and E2. A 1D stream-reach model with a main-channel and a hyporheic zone was developed similar to the commonly used OTIS model. Processes such as photolysis, decay, and sorption to sediments were included in the model framework. The inclusion of coupled reactions, with specific reaction rates and pathways driven by different reaction pathway, that in turn can be dynamic during a storm event (for example, increasing discharge might lead to more aerobic conditions), was the novelty of the approach. The modeling framework was then used to quantify the relative importance of the different reaction pathways under varying flow conditions, and evaluate the

  15. Investigating Stream Metabolism and Nutrient Dynamics in Contrasting Ecosystems: The Role of Hydrologic Compartments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.; Riveros-Iregui, D. A.; Covino, T. P.

    2015-12-01

    The interactions between mobile and less mobile hydrologic compartments affect the quality and quantity of water in streams and aquifers, and the cycling of dissolved carbon and nutrients. As new laboratory and field techniques become available, new questions and challenges emerge, including: What do we measure, where, and for how long to fully characterize a system? and, What is the ideal cost-maintenance-benefit relationship that we should strive for to maximize knowledge gained in different field settings? We recently performed a series of field experiments to measure aquatic metabolism and nutrient dynamics in two highly contrasting hydrologic systems, i.e., 1) a wetland-stream alpine, tropical system in Colombia (South America) and 2) a dryland river continuum (1st - 5th stream orders) in New Mexico. In this presentation we discuss how multiple lines of evidence can support the analysis of key aquatic processes and how co-interpretation provides a more complete picture of stream complexity. For this analysis, we deployed YSI EXO2 and 6920 sondes, Turner Designs C-sense and C6 sensors, and Onset HOBO water quality data loggers. Parameters measured by these instruments include conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, pCO2, chlorophyll-a, phycocyanin, fluorescein, CDOM, brighteners and water depth. We also injected conservative tracers (i.e., NaCl and NaBr) and the bioreactive tracer resazurin in both experimental sites, and NO3 in the dryland river continuum. NO3 was measured in-situ with Satlantic Submersible Ultraviolet Nitrate Analyzers (SUNA) sensors and in the laboratory using Ion Chromatograph techniques using stream grab samples. Our results highlight the role of both residence times and chemical fluxes in regulating the effective processing of carbon and nutrients. Our results also demonstrate that stream stimuli from controlled experiments are ideal for maximizing the information content derived from short (hours to days) and mid

  16. Habitat heterogeneity and activity of an omnivorous ecosystem engineer control stream community dynamics.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bryan L; Lawson, Raven L

    2010-06-01

    All communities vary through time. This variability originates from both intrinsic and extrinsic sources. Intrinsic sources are due to actions of organisms in a community, i.e., population dynamics and species interactions, while extrinsic variability is variability created by elements of habitat or environmental change. There is a growing appreciation that these two sources may interact, producing patterns of community variability that cannot be predicted or explained by focusing on a single source. We performed a field experiment that simultaneously manipulated trophic structure (intrinsic) and habitat heterogeneity (extrinsic) in order to examine the interaction between sources of variability in a South Carolina (USA) stream macroinvertebrate community. To manipulate trophic structure, we experimentally altered local abundances of crayfish which are keystone species and ecosystem engineers, while our manipulation of habitat was to alter stream substrate heterogeneity. We focused on two types of community variability as responses to our manipulations: aggregate variability (i.e., variability of summed species) and compositional variability (i.e., variability in relative abundances of species) by monitoring community composition through a 10-week experiment. We found that community dynamics shifted from patterns in variability indicative of synchrony (high aggregate variability + low compositional) to variability indicative of compensation (low aggregate variability + high compositional) along a gradient of increasing habitat heterogeneity. However, the shift in community dynamics only occurred when crayfish were present in the community. Supporting evidence from the experiment suggested that sediment engineering effects of crayfish acted as a community-wide perturbation in low-heterogeneity habitat creating synchronous dynamics. However, in high-heterogeneity enclosures, crayfish effects were moderated by refugia provided by a more complex substratum. The switch

  17. Benthic macroinvertebrates and the use of stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) in the impact assessment of peatland use on boreal stream ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nieminen, Mika L.; Daza Secco, Emmanuela; Nykänen, Hannu; Meissner, Kristian

    2013-04-01

    Stable isotope analysis (SIA) can provide insights into carbon flow dynamics and trophic positions of consumers in food webs. SIA is used in this study, where we assess the possible changes in the basal resources of Finnish boreal stream ecosystems and differences in the impact of two forms of peatland use, forestry and peat mining. About 30% of the total land area of Finland is classified as peatland, of which about 55% has been drained for forestry and about 0.6% is in peat production. Unlike forestry, peat production is regionally less scattered and can thus have measurable local impacts although the total area of peat production is small. Three watersheds were used as study areas. Within each watershed, one stream drains a subcatchment affected only by peat mining, whereas the other stream flows through a subcatchment affected by forestry. The two subcatchment streams merge to form a single stream flowing into a lake. Studied watersheds were subject to no other forms of land use. In addition to the impacted sites, we used two pristine natural mire and two natural forest catchments as controls. We analysed the stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) from benthic macroinvertebrates, stream bank soil, stream sediment, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in stream water. Samples for stable isotope analyses were collected in the summer of 2011 and samples for invertebrate community analyses in the autumn of 2011. Upon sampling we measured several physical parameters at each sampling site. In addition, stream water samples collected in summer and autumn 2012 were analysed for CH4 and CO2 gas concentrations and autumn gas samples also for their δ13C values. Our initial SIA results of invertebrates suggest some degree of discrimination between different sources of OM and possible effects on feeding habits, presumably due to the quality of the basal resources. We will explore this result further by examining not only taxonomical structure, but also the

  18. The Role of Periphyton in Mediating the Effects of Pollution in a Stream Ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, Walter R; Ryon, Michael G; Smith, John G; Adams, Marshall; Boston III, Harry L; Stewart, Arthur J

    2009-03-01

    The effects of pollutants on primary producers ramify through ecosystems because primary producers provide food and structure for higher trophic levels and they mediate the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and contaminants. Periphyton (attached algae) were studied as part of a long-term biological monitoring program designed to guide remediation efforts by the Department of Energy s Y-12 National Security Complex on East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. High concentrations of nutrients entering EFPC were responsible for elevated periphyton production and placed the stream in a state of eutrophy. High rates of primary production at upstream locations in EFPC were associated with alterations in both invertebrate and fish communities. Grazers represented >50% of the biomass of invertebrates and fish near the Y-12 Complex but <10% at downstream and reference sites. An index of epilithic periphyton production accounted for 95% of the site-to-site variation in biomass of grazing fish. Analyses of heavy metals in EFPC periphyton showed that concentrations of zinc, cadmium, copper and nickel in periphyton decreased exponentially with distance downstream from Y-12. Zinc uptake by periphyton was estimated to reduce the concentration of this metal in stream water ~60% over a 5-km reach of EFPC. Management options for mitigating eutrophy in EFPC include additional reductions in nutrient inputs and/or allowing streamside trees to grow and shade the stream. However, reducing periphyton growth may lead to greater downstream transport of contaminants while simultaneously causing higher concentrations of mercury and PCBs in fish at upstream sites.

  19. Environmental conditions and biotic interactions influence ecosystem structure and function in a drying stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ludlam, J.P.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    Benthic consumers influence stream ecosystem structure and function, but these interactions depend on environmental context. We experimentally quantified the effects of central stoneroller minnows (Campostoma anomalum (Rafinesque) and Meek's crayfish (Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon)) on benthic communities using electric exclusion quadrats in Little Mulberry Creek before (June) and during (August) seasonal stream drying. Unglazed ceramic tiles were deployed in June and August to measure periphyton and invertebrate abundance, and leafpack decomposition and primary production were also measured in August. Relationships between stoneroller and crayfish density and the size of consumer effects were evaluated with multiple linear regression models. Average chlorophyll a abundance was greater on exposed than exclusion tiles in August, but not in June. Sediment dry mass, periphyton ash-free dry mass (AFDM), and chironomid densities on tiles did not differ among treatments in either period. Leaf packs decayed faster in exposed than exclusion treatments (kexposed = 0.038 ?? 0.013, kexclusion = 0.007 ?? 0.002), but consumer effects were stronger in some pools than others. Leafpack invertebrate biomass and abundance and tile primary productivity did not differ among treatments. Consumer effects on chlorophyll a were related to crayfish and stoneroller density, and effects on chironomid density were related to stoneroller density. These results contrast with a previous exclusion experiment in Little Mulberry Creek that demonstrated strong consumer effects. The influence of stream drying on consumer effects appears to have been reduced by strong spates, underscoring the importance of conducting multi-year studies to determine the magnitude of variability in ecological interactions. ?? US Government: USGS 2010.

  20. The Role of Periphyton in Mediating the Effects of Pollution in a Stream Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Walter R.; Ryon, Michael G.; Smith, John G.; Adams, S. Marshall; Boston, Harry L.; Stewart, Arthur J.

    2010-03-01

    The effects of pollutants on primary producers ramify through ecosystems because primary producers provide food and structure for higher trophic levels and they mediate the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and contaminants. Periphyton (attached algae) were studied as part of a long-term biological monitoring program designed to guide remediation efforts by the Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Complex on East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. High concentrations of nutrients entering EFPC were responsible for elevated periphyton production and placed the stream in a state of eutrophy. High rates of primary production at upstream locations in EFPC were associated with alterations in both invertebrate and fish communities. Grazers represented >50% of the biomass of invertebrates and fish near the Y-12 Complex but <10% at downstream and reference sites. An index of epilithic periphyton production accounted for 95% of the site-to-site variation in biomass of grazing fish. Analyses of heavy metals in EFPC periphyton showed that concentrations of zinc, cadmium, copper and nickel in periphyton decreased exponentially with distance downstream from Y-12. Zinc uptake by periphyton was estimated to reduce the concentration of this metal in stream water ~60% over a 5-km reach of EFPC. Management options for mitigating eutrophy in EFPC include additional reductions in nutrient inputs and/or allowing streamside trees to grow and shade the stream. However, reducing periphyton growth may lead to greater downstream transport of contaminants while simultaneously causing higher concentrations of mercury and PCBs in fish at upstream sites.

  1. The Biogeochemistry beneath the Whillans Ice Stream, West Antarctica: Evidence for a Chemoautotrophically Driven Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purcell, A.; Mikucki, J.; Achberger, A.; Christner, B. C.; Michaud, A. B.; Mitchell, A. C.; Priscu, J. C.; Skidmore, M. L.; Vick-Majors, T.

    2015-12-01

    Antarctic sub ice environments represent some of the most understudied microbial ecosystems on Earth. The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD) project recently sampled sediments and water from Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) and its hydrologically connected grounding zone where this lake system empties beneath the Ross Ice Shelf. Here we highlight findings on the diversity and metabolic capabilities of the microbial community detected in these samples. We utilized a hot water drill with a novel filtration and UV treatment system to insure that our entry and sampling did not contaminate our samples or the pristine subglacial ecosystem. Geochemical and microbiological data suggests the water column hosts an active microbial community sustained by the production of fixed carbon from chemosynthesis with energy derived from reduced nitrogen, sulfur, and iron compounds. These energy sources appear to be influenced by bedrock weathering at the sediment surface. For example, dominant 16S rRNA gene phylotypes in the water column suggest ammonia oxidation as a potential source of chemoautotrophic energy. While in the SLW surficial sediments, diversity analysis of functional genes involved in both sulfur oxidation and sulfate reduction (aprA, dsrA, and rdsrA), aprA gene abundance, and 16S rRNA gene analysis indicate that sulfur-oxidizing microbes are dominant. These preliminary results represents the first data on microbial community structure and function from an Antarctic subglacial lake and its grounding zone.

  2. The Affects of Mountain Top Removal Mining on Headwater Streams in Eastern Kentucky

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Word, D. A.; Jack, J. D.; Kelley, R.

    2005-05-01

    Mountain Top Removal/Valley Fill (MTR/VF) coal mining is a relatively new coal extraction technology that is widely utilized throughout the Appalachian region. During this process, the mountaintop is blasted away, the coal removed and the leftover material (spoil) is then deposited into the surrounding valleys. The potential negative ecological effects of these operations on stream biodiversity has received some attention but there is little available data on how these fills affect stream functions such as litter decomposition rates. We selected 4 streams draining "retired" MTR/VF sites of various ages in eastern Kentucky (USA) and one stream from an actively mined site. We compared leaf mass loss rates, N dynamics, fungal colonization (as measured by ergosterol) and water chemistry parameters in these streams to three unmined reference streams. Leaf litter mass loss was usually higher in the reference streams while water chemistry parameters such as conductivity, nitrate and TDS were often much higher in the MTR/VF streams. Such differences in stream function and water quality should be considered in permitting decisions and in assessing recovery of streams after mining.

  3. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  4. Wetland-stream ecosystems of the western Kentucky coalfield: environmental disturbance and the shaping of aquatic community structure

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, P.L. Jr.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of surface mining effluents of the shaping of aquatic community structure in wetland-stream ecosystems of the western Kentucky coalfield were examined. Three variously impacted drainage systems were utilized for the investigation of cause-and-effect relationships. Clear Creek wetland-stream ecosystem had a uniformly low pH, high conductivity and high dissolved minerals load linked to the oozing of old, unreclaimed surface mine spoils. Cypress Creek wetland-stream ecosystem exhibited a slug-pulsing of mine drainage effluents tied to active surface mining limited to the headwaters region. Henderson Sloughs-Pond Creek wetland-stream ecosystem had no mining impact and was utilized as a comparison site. Macroinvertebrate taxa and diversity were considerably lowered in the systems receiving mine drainage. The Shannon-Weaver diversity index (H) was 0.61 for Clear Creek, 1.80 for Cypress Creek and 2.01 for Henderson Sloughs. Large numbers of chironomid larvae dominated the benthic community of Clear Creek while mayflies, caddisflies and crustaceans were the major components of the Cypress Creek community. Henderson Sloughs-Pond Creek had an even more diverse community of mayflies, caddisflies, crustaceans, molluscs and odonates. Fishes followed the same general trend, being almost absent in Clear Creek (H - 0.47), slightly depressed in Cypress Creek (H = 1.74) and generally diverse in Henderson Sloughs (H = 2.37).

  5. Beaver Activity, Holocene Climate and Riparian Landscape Change Across Stream Scales in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, R.; Meyer, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    Beaver (Castor canadensis) have been part of the fluvial and riparian landscape across much of North America since the Pleistocene, increasing channel habitat complexity and expanding riparian landscapes. The fur trade, however, decimated beaver populations by the 1840s, and other human activities have limited beaver in many areas, including parts of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Understanding fluctuations in beaver occupation through the Holocene will aid in understanding the natural range of variability in beaver activity as well as climatic and anthropogenic impacts to fluvial systems. We are developing a detailed chronology of beaver-assisted sedimentation and overall fluvial activity for Odell and Red Rock Creeks (basin areas 83 and 99 km2) in Centennial Valley (CV), Montana, to augment related studies on the long-term effects of beaver on smaller GYE fluvial systems (basin areas 0.1-50 km2). In developing the CV chronology, we use the presence of concentrations of beaver-chewed sticks as a proxy for beaver occupancy. Beaver-stick deposits are found in paleochannel and fluvial terrace exposures. The relative ages of exposures were determined by elevation data from airborne LiDAR and ground surveys. Numerical ages were obtained from 36 14C ages (~30 more are pending) of beaver-stick wood collected during investigation of the stratigraphy. Most beaver-stick deposits are associated with ~ 1 meter of fine-grained sediment, interpreted as overbank deposits, commonly overlying gravelly sand or pebble gravel channel deposits which is consistent with enhanced overbank sedimentation associated with active beaver dams in CV streams. The CV deposits differ from those on smaller GYE streams where beaver-stick deposits are associated with abandoned dams (berms), infilled ponds and laminated sediments. The lack of pond-related deposition associated with CV beaver-stick deposits is consistent with frequent dam breaching (≤ 5 years) in the modern channel of Odell

  6. Environmental and Biological Data of the Nutrient Enrichment Effects on Stream Ecosystems Project of the National Water Quality Assessment Program, 2003-04

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brightbill, Robin A.; Munn, Mark D.

    2008-01-01

    In 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the process of developing regional nutrient criteria for streams and rivers. In response to concerns about nutrients by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others, the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program began studying the effects of nutrient enrichment on agricultural stream ecosystems to aid in the understanding of how nutrients affect the biota in agricultural streams. Streams within five study areas were sampled either in 2003 or 2004. These five study areas were located within six NAWQA study units: the combined Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin (ACFB) and Georgia-Florida Coastal Plain Drainages (GAFL), Central Columbia Plateau?Yakima River Basin (CCYK), Central Nebraska Basins (CNBR), Potomac River?Delmarva Peninsula (PODL), and the White-Miami River Basin (WHMI). Data collected included nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) and other chemical parameters, biological samples (chlorophyll, algal assemblages, invertebrate assemblages, and some fish assemblages), stream habitat, and riparian and basin information. This report describes and presents the data collected from these study areas.

  7. Mercury in stream ecosystems -- New studies initiated by the U.S. Geological Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brigham, Mark E.; Krabbenhoft, David P.; Hamilton, Pixie A.

    2003-01-01

    Mercury can adversely affect humans and wildlife through consumption of contaminated fish, particularly by sensitive individuals, such as children and women of childbearing age. Mercury is currently the leading cause of impairment in the Nation’s estuaries and lakes and was cited in nearly 80 percent of fish-consumption advisories (2,242 of 2,838) reported by states in 2000. The geographic extent of mercury advisories covers more than 10 million acres of lakes and more than 400,000 stream miles—increases of about 7 and 48 percent, respectively, over advisories reported in 1998 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2002a).

  8. Estimating benthic secondary production from aquatic insect emergence in streams affected by mountaintop removal coal mining, West Virginia, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mountaintop removal and valley filling is a coal mining method that results in burial of headwater streams. As a result of recent litigation, rapid methods for measuring ecosystem functions are needced for more appropriate permittingand mitigation stra tegies.

  9. Combined use of meio- and macrobenthic indices to assess complex chemical impacts on a stream ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, Ursula S.; Sonne, Anne T.; Rasmussen, Jes J.; Traunspurger, Walter; Höss, Sebastian; Bjerg, Poul L.

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem dynamics (e.g. temperature, inorganic nutrients) and properties (e.g. resilience, robustness), and ecological functions and services depend on the structure and diversity of biological communities, and the fluxes of energy and materials occurring within and across abiotic and biotic boundaries. The close interchange, i.e. multiple feedback loops, between hydrologic and biologic controls is also becoming increasingly evident. Holistic approaches are thus necessary for a robust understanding of ecosystem functioning and subsequent implementation of effective management practices across multiple spatial scales. Groundwater and surface water resources are under pressure from increasing global exploitation and anthropogenic impacts such as contamination by chemicals, leading to a severe degradation of essential ecological functions. Many of the environmental problems we face today have existed for decades; what has changed is our understanding of the key drivers, processes and impacts. The first reporting by European Member States (MS) on the status of their water bodies found that rivers and transitional waters were often in worse condition than lakes and coastal waters. This is not surprising considering that streams integrate all of the diverse stressors found within a catchment (e.g. contaminated sites; diffuse source pollution; water abstraction). The chemical status of a water body is relatively straightforward to assess, defined partly by environmental quality standards on priority substances and partly by additional regulations imposed by individual MS. However, the biological quality elements used for the classification of ecological status are only loosely defined, leaving MS free to develop their own assessment tools. Although useful for the individual MS, it impedes methodological standardization across different ecoregions, thus contributing to inconsistencies and data gaps across Europe. Moreover, despite the unambiguous importance of benthic

  10. Woody plant encroachment, and its removal, impact bacterial and fungal communities across stream and terrestrial habitats in a tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Veach, Allison M; Dodds, Walter K; Jumpponen, Ari

    2015-10-01

    Woody plant encroachment has become a global threat to grasslands and has caused declines in aboveground richness and changes in ecosystem function; yet we have a limited understanding on the effects of these phenomena on belowground microbial communities. We completed riparian woody plant removals at Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas and collected soils spanning land-water interfaces in removal and woody vegetation impacted areas. We measured stream sediments and soils for edaphic variables (C and N pools, soil water content, pH) and bacterial (16S rRNA genes) and fungal (ITS2 rRNA gene repeat) communities using Illumina MiSeq metabarcoding. Bacterial richness and diversity decreased with distance from streams. Fungal richness decreased with distance from the stream in wooded areas, but was similar across landscape position while Planctomycetes and Basidiomycota relative abundance was lower in removal areas. Cyanobacteria, Ascomycota, Chytridiomycota and Glomeromycota relative abundance was greater in removal areas. Ordination analyses indicated that bacterial community composition shifted more across land-water interfaces than fungi yet both were marginally influenced by treatment. This study highlights the impacts of woody encroachment restoration on grassland bacterial and fungal communities which likely subsequently affects belowground processes and plant health in this ecosystem. PMID:26347079

  11. Woody plant encroachment, and its removal, impact bacterial and fungal communities across stream and terrestrial habitats in a tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Veach, Allison M; Dodds, Walter K; Jumpponen, Ari

    2015-10-01

    Woody plant encroachment has become a global threat to grasslands and has caused declines in aboveground richness and changes in ecosystem function; yet we have a limited understanding on the effects of these phenomena on belowground microbial communities. We completed riparian woody plant removals at Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas and collected soils spanning land-water interfaces in removal and woody vegetation impacted areas. We measured stream sediments and soils for edaphic variables (C and N pools, soil water content, pH) and bacterial (16S rRNA genes) and fungal (ITS2 rRNA gene repeat) communities using Illumina MiSeq metabarcoding. Bacterial richness and diversity decreased with distance from streams. Fungal richness decreased with distance from the stream in wooded areas, but was similar across landscape position while Planctomycetes and Basidiomycota relative abundance was lower in removal areas. Cyanobacteria, Ascomycota, Chytridiomycota and Glomeromycota relative abundance was greater in removal areas. Ordination analyses indicated that bacterial community composition shifted more across land-water interfaces than fungi yet both were marginally influenced by treatment. This study highlights the impacts of woody encroachment restoration on grassland bacterial and fungal communities which likely subsequently affects belowground processes and plant health in this ecosystem.

  12. Linking urbanization to the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) for stream ecosystems in the Northeastern United States using a Bayesian network approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kashuba, Roxolana; McMahon, Gerard; Cuffney, Thomas F.; Qian, Song; Reckhow, Kenneth; Gerritsen, Jeroen; Davies, Susan

    2012-01-01

    In realization of the aforementioned advantages, a Bayesian network model was constructed to characterize the effect of urban development on aquatic macroinvertebrate stream communities through three simultaneous, interacting ecological pathways affecting stream hydrology, habitat, and water quality across watersheds in the Northeastern United States. This model incorporates both empirical data and expert knowledge to calculate the probabilities of attaining desired aquatic ecosystem conditions under different urban stress levels, environmental conditions, and management options. Ecosystem conditions are characterized in terms of standardized Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) management endpoints. This approach to evaluating urban development-induced perturbations in watersheds integrates statistical and mechanistic perspectives, different information sources, and several ecological processes into a comprehensive description of the system that can be used to support decision making. The completed model can be used to infer which management actions would lead to the highest likelihood of desired BCG tier achievement. For example, if best management practices (BMP) were implemented in a highly urbanized watershed to reduce flashiness to medium levels and specific conductance to low levels, the stream would have a 70-percent chance of achieving BCG Tier 3 or better, relative to a 24-percent achievement likelihood for unmanaged high urban land cover. Results are reported probabilistically to account for modeling uncertainty that is inherent in sources such as natural variability and model simplification error.

  13. Emergence cues of a mayfly in a high-altitude stream ecosystem: potential response to climate change.

    PubMed

    Harper, Matthew P; Peckarsky, Barbara L

    2006-04-01

    To understand the consequences of human accelerated environmental change, it is important to document the effects on natural populations of an increasing frequency of extreme climatic events. In stream ecosystems, recent climate change has resulted in extreme variation in both thermal and hydrological regimes. From 2001 to 2004, a severe drought in western United States corresponded with earlier emergence of the adult stage of the high-altitude stream mayfly, Baetis bicaudatus. Using a long-term database from a western Colorado stream, the peak emergence date of this mayfly population was predicted by both the magnitude and date of peak stream flow, and by the mean daily water temperature, suggesting that Baetis may respond to declining stream flow or increasing water temperature as proximate cues for early metamorphosis. However, in a one-year survey of multiple streams from the same drainage basin, only water temperature predicted spatial variation in the onset of emergence of this mayfly. To decouple the effects of temperature and flow, we separately manipulated these factors in flow-through microcosms and measured the timing of B. bicaudatus metamorphosis to the adult stage. Mayflies emerged sooner in a warmed-water treatment than an ambient-water treatment; but reducing flow did not accelerate the onset of mayfly emergence. Nonetheless, using warming temperatures to cue metamorphosis enables mayflies to time their emergence during the descending limb of the hydrograph when oviposition sites (protruding rocks) are becoming available. We speculate that large-scale climate changes involving warming and stream drying could cause significant shifts in the timing of mayfly metamorphosis, thereby having negative effects on populations that play an important role in stream ecosystems.

  14. Variability in ecosystem structure and functioning in a low order stream: Implications of land use and season.

    PubMed

    Englert, Dominic; Zubrod, Jochen P; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2015-12-15

    Human activity can degrade the habitat quality for aquatic communities, which ultimately impacts the functions these communities provide. Disentangling the complex interaction between environmental and anthropogenic parameters as well as their alteration both along the stream channel, over the seasons, and finally their impact in the aquatic ecosystem represents a fundamental challenge for environmental scientists. Therefore, the present study investigates the implications of successive land uses (i.e., vineyard, urban area, highway and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)) on structural and functional endpoints related to the ecosystem process of leaf litter breakdown during a winter and summer season in a five km stretch of a second-order stream in southern Germany. This sequence of the different land uses caused, among others, a downstream decline of the ecological status from "high" to "bad" judged based on the SPEARpesticides index together with significant shifts in the macroinvertebrate community composition, which coincided with substantial impairments (up to 100%) in the macroinvertebrate-mediated leaf decomposition. These effects, seem to be mainly driven by alterations in water quality rather than morphological modifications of the stream's habitat since the key shredder Gammarus was not in direct contact with the local habitat during in situ bioassays but showed similar response patterns than the other endpoints. While the relative effect size for most endpoints deviated considerably (sometimes above 2-fold) among seasons, the general response pattern pointed to reductions in energy supply for local and downstream communities. Although the present study focused on a single low-order stream with the main purpose of describing the impact of different land uses on various levels of biological organization, which limits the direct transferability and thus applicability of results to other stream ecosystems, the findings point to the need to develop adequate

  15. Variability in ecosystem structure and functioning in a low order stream: Implications of land use and season.

    PubMed

    Englert, Dominic; Zubrod, Jochen P; Schulz, Ralf; Bundschuh, Mirco

    2015-12-15

    Human activity can degrade the habitat quality for aquatic communities, which ultimately impacts the functions these communities provide. Disentangling the complex interaction between environmental and anthropogenic parameters as well as their alteration both along the stream channel, over the seasons, and finally their impact in the aquatic ecosystem represents a fundamental challenge for environmental scientists. Therefore, the present study investigates the implications of successive land uses (i.e., vineyard, urban area, highway and wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)) on structural and functional endpoints related to the ecosystem process of leaf litter breakdown during a winter and summer season in a five km stretch of a second-order stream in southern Germany. This sequence of the different land uses caused, among others, a downstream decline of the ecological status from "high" to "bad" judged based on the SPEARpesticides index together with significant shifts in the macroinvertebrate community composition, which coincided with substantial impairments (up to 100%) in the macroinvertebrate-mediated leaf decomposition. These effects, seem to be mainly driven by alterations in water quality rather than morphological modifications of the stream's habitat since the key shredder Gammarus was not in direct contact with the local habitat during in situ bioassays but showed similar response patterns than the other endpoints. While the relative effect size for most endpoints deviated considerably (sometimes above 2-fold) among seasons, the general response pattern pointed to reductions in energy supply for local and downstream communities. Although the present study focused on a single low-order stream with the main purpose of describing the impact of different land uses on various levels of biological organization, which limits the direct transferability and thus applicability of results to other stream ecosystems, the findings point to the need to develop adequate

  16. A hypothesis about factors that affect maximum stream temperatures across montane landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Isaak, D.J.; Hubert, W.A.

    2001-01-01

    Temperature is an important variable structuring lotic biotas, but little is known about how montane landscapes function to determine stream temperatures. We developed an a priori hypothesis that was used to predict how watershed elements would interact to affect stream temperatures. The hypothesis was tested in a series of path analyses using temperature data from 26 sites on second-order to fourth-order streams across a fifth-order Rocky Mountain watershed. Based on the performance of the first hypothesis, two revised versions of the hypothesis were developed and tested that proved to be more accurate than the original hypothesis. The most plausible of the revised hypotheses accounted for 82 percent of the variation in maximum stream temperature, had a predicted data structure that did not deviate from the empirical data structure, and was the most parsimonious. The final working hypothesis suggested that stream temperature maxima were directly controlled by a large negative effect from mean basin elevation (direct effect = -0.57, p < 0.01) and smaller effects from riparian tree abundance (direct effect = -0.28, p = 0.03), and cattle density (direct effect = 0.24, p = 0.05). Watershed slope, valley constraint, and the abundance of grass across a watershed also affected temperature maxima, but these effects were indirect and mediated through cattle density and riparian trees. Three variables included in the a priori hypothesis - watershed aspect, stream width, and watershed size - had negligible effects on maximum stream temperatures and were omitted from the final working hypothesis.

  17. Characterizing multiple timescales of stream and storage zone interaction that affect solute fate and transport in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Choi, J.; Harvey, J.W.; Conklin, M.H.

    2000-01-01

    The fate of contaminants in streams and rivers is affected by exchange and biogeochemical transformation in slowly moving or stagnant flow zones that interact with rapid flow in the main channel. In a typical stream, there are multiple types of slowly moving flow zones in which exchange and transformation occur, such as stagnant or recirculating surface water as well as subsurface hyporheic zones. However, most investigators use transport models with just a single storage zone in their modeling studies, which assumes that the effects of multiple storage zones can be lumped together. Our study addressed the following question: Can a single-storage zone model reliably characterize the effects of physical retention and biogeochemical reactions in multiple storage zones? We extended an existing stream transport model with a single storage zone to include a second storage zone. With the extended model we generated 500 data sets representing transport of nonreactive and reactive solutes in stream systems that have two different types of storage zones with variable hydrologic conditions. The one storage zone model was tested by optimizing the lumped storage parameters to achieve a best fit for each of the generated data sets. Multiple storage processes were categorized as possessing I, additive; II, competitive; or III, dominant storage zone characteristics. The classification was based on the goodness of fit of generated data sets, the degree of similarity in mean retention time of the two storage zones, and the relative distributions of exchange flux and storage capacity between the two storage zones. For most cases (> 90%) the one storage zone model described either the effect of the sum of multiple storage processes (category I) or the dominant storage process (category III). Failure of the one storage zone model occurred mainly for category II, that is, when one of the storage zones had a much longer mean retention time (t(s) ratio > 5.0) and when the dominance of

  18. Bridging the gap between theoretical ecology and real ecosystems: modeling invertebrate community composition in streams.

    PubMed

    Schuwirth, Nele; Reichert, Peter

    2013-02-01

    For the first time, we combine concepts of theoretical food web modeling, the metabolic theory of ecology, and ecological stoichiometry with the use of functional trait databases to predict the coexistence of invertebrate taxa in streams. We developed a mechanistic model that describes growth, death, and respiration of different taxa dependent on various environmental influence factors to estimate survival or extinction. Parameter and input uncertainty is propagated to model results. Such a model is needed to test our current quantitative understanding of ecosystem structure and function and to predict effects of anthropogenic impacts and restoration efforts. The model was tested using macroinvertebrate monitoring data from a catchment of the Swiss Plateau. Even without fitting model parameters, the model is able to represent key patterns of the coexistence structure of invertebrates at sites varying in external conditions (litter input, shading, water quality). This confirms the suitability of the model concept. More comprehensive testing and resulting model adaptations will further increase the predictive accuracy of the model.

  19. Long-Term Studies of the Effects of Salmon Spawners on Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaloner, D. T.; Lamberti, G. A.; Cak, A. D.; Edwards, R. T.

    2005-05-01

    To determine the ecological effects of salmon-derived nutrients (SDN) transported into fresh waters by spawning adult Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), we monitored several ecological parameters in Fish Creek, Southeast Alaska from 2000 to 2004. Pink and chum salmon spawn in the lower reach of Fish Creek, but cannot move further upstream because of a waterfall, 4 km from saltwater. We estimated spawner densities and measured dissolved nutrient concentrations and epilithon abundance before, during, and after the salmon run, in reaches above and below the waterfall barrier. Salmon spawners increased streamwater concentrations of ammonium (2.3 - 148x) and soluble reactive phosphorus (0.4 - 17x), and epilithon chlorophyll a (14 - 29x) and ash-free dry mass (1.4 - 4x) in lower reaches. However, the duration and magnitude of these effects varied widely among years, and did not appear to vary solely with spawner densities. Our results suggest that although SDN can stimulate primary production through increased nutrient concentrations, other environmental factors, such as temperature, irradiance, and discharge, can modulate the influence of salmon spawners on stream ecosystems. To better assess the ecological influence of SDN, future studies should consider the influence of key environmental factors and their temporal and spatial dynamics.

  20. The STREON Recirculation Chamber: An Advanced Tool to Quantify Stream Ecosystem Metabolism in the Benthic Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brock, J. T.; Utz, R.; McLaughlin, B.

    2013-12-01

    The STReam Experimental Observatory Network is a large-scale experimental effort that will investigate the effects of eutrophication and loss of large consumers in stream ecosystems. STREON represents the first experimental effort undertaken and supported by the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).Two treatments will be applied at 10 NEON sites and maintained for 10 years in the STREON program: the addition of nitrate and phosphate to enrich concentrations by five times ambient levels and electrical fields that exclude top consumers (i.e., fish or invertebrates) of the food web from the surface of buried sediment baskets. Following a 3-5 week period, the sediment baskets will be extracted and incubated in closed, recirculating metabolic chambers to measure rates of respiration, photosynthesis, and nutrient uptake. All STREON-generated data will be open access and available on the NEON web portal. The recirculation chamber represents a critical infrastructural component of STREON. Although researchers have applied such chambers for metabolic and nutrient uptake measurements in the past, the scope of STREON demands a novel design that addresses multiple processes often neglected by earlier models. The STREON recirculation chamber must be capable of: 1) incorporating hyporheic exchange into the flow field to ensure measurements of respiration include the activity of subsurface biota, 2) operating consistently with heterogeneous sediments from sand to cobble, 3) minimizing heat exchange from the motor and external environment, 4) delivering a reproducible uniform flow field over the surface of the sediment basket, and 5) efficient assembly/disassembly with minimal use of tools. The chamber also required a means of accommodating an optical dissolved oxygen probe and a means to inject/extract water. A prototype STREON chamber has been designed and thoroughly tested. The flow field within the chamber has been mapped using particle imaging velocimetry (PIV

  1. Fish biodiversity sampling in stream ecosystems: a process for evaluating the appropriate types and amount of gear

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Joseph M.; Wells, Sarah P.; Mather, Martha E.; Muth, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    When researchers and managers initiate sampling on a new stream or river system, they do not know how effective each gear type is and whether their sampling effort is adequate. Although the types and amount of gear may be different for other studies, systems, and research questions, the five-step process described here for making sampling decisions and evaluating sampling efficiency can be applied widely to any system to restore, manage, and conserve aquatic ecosystems. It is believed that incorporating this gear-evaluation process into a wide variety of studies and ecosystems will increase rigour within and across aquatic biodiversity studies.

  2. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Strathdee, Fiona; Spears, Bryan M; Cates, Michael E; Allen, Rosalind J; Free, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate crucial biogeochemical, biomedical and biotechnological processes, yet our understanding of their assembly, and our ability to control its outcome, remain poor. Existing evidence presents conflicting views on whether microbial ecosystem assembly is predictable, or inherently unpredictable. We address this issue using a well-controlled laboratory model system, in which source microbial communities colonize a pristine environment to form complex, nutrient-cycling ecosystems. When the source communities colonize a novel environment, final community composition and function (as measured by redox potential) are unpredictable, although a signature of the community's previous history is maintained. However, when the source communities are pre-conditioned to their new habitat, community development is more reproducible. This situation contrasts with some studies of communities of macro-organisms, where strong selection under novel environmental conditions leads to reproducible community structure, whereas communities under weaker selection show more variability. Our results suggest that the microbial rare biosphere may have an important role in the predictability of microbial community development, and that pre-conditioning may help to reduce unpredictability in the design of microbial communities for biotechnological applications. PMID:23985743

  3. Nitrogen Dynamics in a Northeast Forest Ecosystem - Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Stream Water and Soil Solution Chemistry.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dittman, J. A.; Driscoll, C. T.

    2005-05-01

    Distinct patterns in soil solution and stream water chemistry are manifested across landscape position at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The objective of this study was to examine the spatial and temporal patterns in the concentrations and fluxes of nitrogen (N) species and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in soil solutions and stream water along an elevational gradient (525-775m) at the HBEF. A 12 year record (1992-2003) of measurements of soil water and stream chemistry in Watershed 6 (W6), the biogeochemical reference watershed at the HBEF, were used in this analysis. Solutions were largely comprised of NO3- and DON, as NH4+ concentrations were generally low particularly in mineral soil solutions and stream water. Dissolved organic N and DOC concentrations were elevated in the high elevation spruce-fir-white birch portion of the watershed, while NO3- was the dominate N species in the lower elevation hardwood portion of the watershed. Surprisingly, seasonal patterns of NO3- in soil leachate were not as strong as one might expect given the importance and availability of NO3- as a plant and microbial nutrient. However, distinct seasonal patterns were evident for NO3- in stream water, suggesting the importance of hydrological flow paths and/or in-stream processes in regulating watershed NO3- loss. Understanding patterns of N and DOC dynamics in stream and soil solution is critical for evaluating the response of forest ecosystems to changes in the deposition of anthropogenic N and the potential for nutrient retention within terrestrial ecosystems.

  4. Seasonal Variability May Affect Microbial Decomposers and Leaf Decomposition More Than Warming in Streams.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Sofia; Cássio, Fernanda; Ferreira, Verónica; Canhoto, Cristina; Pascoal, Cláudia

    2016-08-01

    Ongoing climate change is expected to affect the diversity and activity of aquatic microbes, which play a key role in plant litter decomposition in forest streams. We used a before-after control-impact (BACI) design to study the effects of warming on a forest stream reach. The stream reach was divided by a longitudinal barrier, and during 1 year (ambient year) both stream halves were at ambient temperature, while in the second year (warmed year) the temperature in one stream half was increased by ca. 3 °C above ambient temperature (experimental half). Fine-mesh bags containing oak (Quercus robur L.) leaves were immersed in both stream halves for up to 60 days in spring and autumn of the ambient and warmed years. We assessed leaf-associated microbial diversity by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and identification of fungal conidial morphotypes and microbial activity by quantifying leaf mass loss and productivity of fungi and bacteria. In the ambient year, no differences were found in leaf decomposition rates and microbial productivities either between seasons or stream halves. In the warmed year, phosphorus concentration in the stream water, leaf decomposition rates, and productivity of bacteria were higher in spring than in autumn. They did not differ between stream halves, except for leaf decomposition, which was higher in the experimental half in spring. Fungal and bacterial communities differed between seasons in both years. Seasonal changes in stream water variables had a greater impact on the activity and diversity of microbial decomposers than a warming regime simulating a predicted global warming scenario.

  5. Temperature affects leaf litter decomposition in low-order forest streams: field and microcosm approaches.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Aingeru; Larrañaga, Aitor; Pérez, Javier; Descals, Enrique; Pozo, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Despite predicted global warming, the temperature effects on headwater stream functioning are poorly understood. We studied these effects on microbial-mediated leaf decomposition and the performance of associated aquatic hyphomycete assemblages. Alder leaves were incubated in three streams differing in winter water temperature. Simultaneously, in laboratory, leaf discs conditioned in these streams were incubated at 5, 10 and 15 °C. We determined mass loss, leaf N and sporulation rate and diversity of aquatic hyphomycete communities. In the field, decomposition rate correlated positively with temperature. Decomposition rate and leaf N presented a positive trend with dissolved nutrients, suggesting that temperature was not the only factor determining the process velocity. Under controlled conditions, it was confirmed that decomposition rate and leaf N were positively correlated with temperature, leaves from the coldest stream responding most clearly. Sporulation rate correlated positively with temperature after 9 days of incubation, but negatively after 18 and 27 days. Temperature rise affected negatively the sporulating fungi richness and diversity only in the material from the coldest stream. Our results suggest that temperature is an important factor determining leaf processing and aquatic hyphomycete assemblages and that composition and activity of fungal communities adapted to cold environments could be more affected by temperature rises. Highlight: Leaf decomposition rate and associated fungal communities respond to temperature shifts in headwater streams. PMID:24111990

  6. Temperature affects leaf litter decomposition in low-order forest streams: field and microcosm approaches.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Aingeru; Larrañaga, Aitor; Pérez, Javier; Descals, Enrique; Pozo, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    Despite predicted global warming, the temperature effects on headwater stream functioning are poorly understood. We studied these effects on microbial-mediated leaf decomposition and the performance of associated aquatic hyphomycete assemblages. Alder leaves were incubated in three streams differing in winter water temperature. Simultaneously, in laboratory, leaf discs conditioned in these streams were incubated at 5, 10 and 15 °C. We determined mass loss, leaf N and sporulation rate and diversity of aquatic hyphomycete communities. In the field, decomposition rate correlated positively with temperature. Decomposition rate and leaf N presented a positive trend with dissolved nutrients, suggesting that temperature was not the only factor determining the process velocity. Under controlled conditions, it was confirmed that decomposition rate and leaf N were positively correlated with temperature, leaves from the coldest stream responding most clearly. Sporulation rate correlated positively with temperature after 9 days of incubation, but negatively after 18 and 27 days. Temperature rise affected negatively the sporulating fungi richness and diversity only in the material from the coldest stream. Our results suggest that temperature is an important factor determining leaf processing and aquatic hyphomycete assemblages and that composition and activity of fungal communities adapted to cold environments could be more affected by temperature rises. Highlight: Leaf decomposition rate and associated fungal communities respond to temperature shifts in headwater streams.

  7. Stable Isotope Analysis of stream organisms -- a potential tool for monitoring changes in catchment conditions and effects on stream ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotope analyses of stream organisms are performed usually as discrete site experiments (e.g., to study the effect of a direct manipulation), synoptically (e.g. to illustrate effects of longitudinal variation of influencing factors), or, less frequently, over the course of...

  8. Stable isotope analysis of stream organisms - a useful tool for monitoring changes in catchment conditions and effects on stream ecosystems?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stable isotope analyses of stream organisms usually are performed as discrete site experiments (e.g., to study the effect of a direct manipulation), synoptically (e.g. to illustrate effects of longitudinal variation of influencing factors), or, less frequently, over the course of...

  9. Up-scaling Stream Ecosystem Processes to Predict the Effects of Land Cover Change at a Watershed Scale in the Atlantic Tropical Rainforest.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tromboni, F.; Feijó de Lima, R.; Silva-Júnior, E. F.; Lourenço-Amorim, C.; Zandoná, E.; Moulton, T. P.; Da Silva, B. S.; Silva-Araújo, M.; Thomas, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Riparian land-cover change (LCC) causes a cascade of subsequent hierarchical effects that propagate through abiotic compartments until reaching the biota, altering stream ecosystem functioning. Due to the movement of water downstream, these lateral effects co-occur with longitudinal influences. We investigated both the lateral and longitudinal effects of deforestation in four streams in the Atlantic tropical rainforest of Brazil. We collected physical-chemical, geomorphic, hydrological data and samples of macroinvertebrates assemblages. We then categorized land cover at different scales (from different riparian and reach buffer sizes to sub and total watershed) using a SPOT-5 satellite image and ArcGIS. We also carried out a series of experiments along the streams to understand: 1) the mechanisms by which LCC affects periphyton and how these changes alter metabolism and nutrient uptake rates; 2) the downstream distance at which periphyton and the associated variables change in the transitions from one riparian category to the other. We used (i) a path analysis to test if our hypothesized land-cover cascade model described our data and (ii) non-linear models to describe the longitudinal effect on each variable. Our results showed that deforestation produced a range of physical changes at different spatial scale, longitudinally altering periphyton taxonomic composition (taxa depending on light), stoichiometry (nutritionally richer with increasing deforestation) and growth rates (greater in deforested). Macroinvertebrate assemblages behaved similarly to chlorophyll a in response to forest loss. Respiration rate increased with deforestation probably due to higher nutrient concentrations but primary production did not increase. Models were used to upscale LCC impacts on ecosystem processes from local scale experiments to landscape and our work has important implications for socio-economic decisions concerning ecosystem management and conservation.

  10. Coupling of hydrologic transport and chemical reactions in a stream affected by acid mine drainage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimball, B.A.; Broshears, R.E.; Bencala, K.E.; McKnight, Diane M.

    1994-01-01

    Experiments in St. Kevin Gulch, an acid mine drainage stream, examined the coupling of hydrologic transport to chemical reactions affecting metal concentrations. Injection of LiCl as a conservative tracer was used to determine discharge and residence time along a 1497-m reach. Transport of metals downstream from inflows of acidic, metal-rich water was evaluated based on synoptic samples of metal concentrations and the hydrologic characteristics of the stream. Transport of SO4 and Mn was generally conservative, but in the subreaches most affected by acidic inflows, transport was reactive. Both 0.1-??m filtered and particulate Fe were reactive over most of the stream reach. Filtered Al partitioned to the particulate phase in response to high instream concentrations. Simulations that accounted for the removal of SO4, Mn, Fe, and Al with first-order reactions reproduced the steady-state profiles. The calculated rate constants for net removal used in the simulations embody several processes that occur on a stream-reach scale. The comparison between rates of hydrologie transport and chemical reactions indicates that reactions are only important over short distances in the stream near the acidic inflows, where reactions occur on a comparable time scale with hydrologic transport and thus affect metal concentrations.

  11. Evaluating natural gas development impacts on stream ecosystems in an Upper Colorado River watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, J. M.; Bern, C.; Schmidt, T. S.; McDougal, R. R.; Clark, M. L.; Stricker, C. A.; Wolf, R. E.

    2011-12-01

    Oil and gas development in the western United States is increasingly placing at odds the management of two critical natural resources: fossil fuels and water. Muddy Creek, part of the Upper Colorado River watershed, is a semi-arid catchment in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem. Muddy Creek flows throughout the year and includes both perennial and ephemeral tributaries. Primary land use includes livestock grazing, oil and gas development, and recreational activities. A multi-discipline study has been initiated to determine potential impacts of the projected increase of coal bed natural gas development. Hundreds of permits for drilling co-produced waters have been issued, but low energy prices have slowed development. A watershed assessment was conducted in 2010 to determine areas within the watershed that are more susceptible to mobilization of trace elements that occur in soils forming on marine shales. Soil, stream sediment, and water samples were collected and analyzed for major elements and a suite of trace elements, with arsenic and selenium identified as potential elements of concern. A study of benthic and riparian invertebrates is being conducted to evaluate the uptake of these elements into the food web at targeted locations in the Muddy Creek watershed. Continued work will address sources of salinity to Muddy Creek, and ultimately to the Upper Colorado River. Impacts from energy development can include mobilization of naturally occurring sulfate salts through soil disturbance. Formation waters currently discharged to the surface from two failed wells within the watershed will be evaluated for their contribution to salinity, as well as dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen species, and trace elements, to the Upper Colorado River. Upon completion, this study will provide a baseline that can assist in land-use management decisions as oil and gas extraction expands in the Upper Colorado River watershed.

  12. Content analysis to document publicly valued ecosystem services of rivers and streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    While much ecosystem services research focuses on analysis such as mapping and/or valuation, fewer research efforts are directed toward in-depth understanding of the specific ecological quantities people value. Ecosystem service monitoring and analysis efforts and communications ...

  13. Final ecosystem services for stream ecosystems and the metrics, methods and challenges to apply them in a national monitoring context

    EPA Science Inventory

    The challenge of translating notions of ecosystem services from the theoretical arena to practical application at large scales (e.g. national) requires an interdisciplinary approach. To meet this challenge, we convened a workshop involving a broad suite of natural and social scie...

  14. Does microbial biomass affect pelagic ecosystem efficiency? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Wehr, J D; Le, J; Campbell, L

    1994-01-01

    Bacteria and other microorganisms in the pelagic zone participate in the recycling of organic matter and nutrients within the water column. The microbial loop is thought to enhance ecosystem efficiency through rapid recycling and reduced sinking rates, thus reducing the loss of nutrients contained in organisms remaining within the photic zone. We conducted experiments with lake communities in 5400-liter mesocosms, and measured the flux of materials and nutrients out of the water column. A factorial design manipulated 8 nutrient treatments: 4 phosphorus levels × 2 nitrogen levels. Total sedimentation rates were greatest in high-N mesocosms; within N-surplus communities, [Symbol: see text]1 µM P resulted in 50% increase in total particulate losses. P additions without added N had small effects on nutrient losses from the photic zone; +2 µM P tanks received 334 mg P per tank, yet after 14 days lost only 69 mg more particulate-P than did control communities. Nutrient treatments resulted in marked differences in phytoplankton biomass (twofold N effect, fivefold P effect in +N mesocosms only), bacterioplankton densities (twofold N-effect, twofold P effects in -N and +N mesocosms), and the relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton (maximum in high NY mesocosms). Multiple regression analysis found that of 8 plankton and water chemistry variables, the ratio of autotrophic picoplankton to total phytoplankton (measured as chlorophyll α) explained the largest portion of the total variation in sedimentation loss rates (65% of P-flux, 57% of N-flux, 26% of total flux). In each case, systems with greater relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton had significantly reduced loss rates. In contrast, greater numbers of planktonic bacteria were associated with increased sedimentation rates and lower system efficiency. We suggest that different microbial components may have contrasting effects on the presumed enhanced efficiency provided by the microbial loop.

  15. Spatial and temporal controls on Alnus-derived nutrients and stream stoichiometry: Implications for aquatic ecosystem productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devotta, D.; Fraterrigo, J.; Walsh, P.; Hu, F.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting how nutrient fluxes that cross ecosystem boundaries will respond to future climate change is one of the greatest challenges for ecology in the 21st century. In southwestern (SW) Alaska, Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and nitrogen (N)-fixation by alder (Alnus spp.) provide key nutrient subsidies to freshwater systems. The importance of alder-derived nutrients (ADN) to aquatic systems will increase as alder cover expands under climate warming and salmon harvesting reduces marine-derived nutrients. We investigate broad-scale spatial and temporal drivers of ADN and stream N:P in 26 streams in SW Alaska. Alder cover and watershed features were measured using satellite images and topographic maps in ArcGIS. Stream water samples were collected in each spring and summer from 2010-2013 and analyzed for dissolved N and total phosphorus (TP). We obtained annual growing season length (AGSL) and sum of growing degree days (GDD) data from weather stations. Elevation was inversely related to alder cover, stream N, and N:P (ρ=-0.802, -0.65, and -0.71 resp., p<0.01, n=208). Alder cover had the largest influence on stream N (mean β estimate=0.402, 90% CIs). Stream N increased with alder cover, under longer AGSL, and lower GDD (interaction effect sizes between alder and stream N=0.196 and -0.185 resp., 90% CIs), suggesting that long growing seasons with minimal heat accumulation during the spring and fall increased ADN export. Higher P was associated with lower temperatures, possibly reflecting reduced P demand under low rates of metabolic activity. Structural equation modeling revealed significant causal relationships among elevation, alder cover, and stream N:P across multiple years (r2=0.94, X2=742.8, df=9, p<0.01). All paths in the model were significant (p<0.01) except between stream N:P and weather (p=0.165). These results demonstrate that spatial variation in alder cover associated with elevation is a stronger regulator of ADN fluxes and stream N:P than

  16. Stream ecosystem response to chronic deposition of N and acid at the Bear Brook Watershed, Maine.

    PubMed

    Simon, Kevin S; Chadwick, Michael A; Huryn, Alexander D; Valett, H Maurice

    2010-12-01

    The Bear Brook Watershed in Maine (BBWM) is a long-term, paired watershed experiment that addresses the effects of acid and nitrogen (N) deposition on whole watersheds. To examine stream response at BBWM, we synthesized data on organic matter dynamics, including leaf breakdown rates, organic matter inputs and standing stocks, macroinvertebrate secondary production, and nutrient uptake in treated and reference streams at the BBWM. While N concentrations in stream water and leaves have increased, the input, standing stocks, and breakdown rates of leaves, as well as macroinvertebrate production, were not responsive to acid and N deposition. Both chronic and acute increases of N availability have saturated uptake of nitrate in the streams. Recent experimental increases in phosphorus (P) availability enhanced stream capacity to take up nitrate and altered the character of N saturation. These results show how the interactive effects of multiple factors, including environmental flow regime, acidification, and P availability, may constrain stream response to chronic N deposition.

  17. Forecasting the combined effects of urbanization and climate change on stream ecosystems: from impacts to management options

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Kären C; Palmer, Margaret A; Pizzuto, James E; Moglen, Glenn E; Angermeier, Paul L; Hilderbrand, Robert H; Dettinger, Michael; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    . Synthesis and applications. The interaction of climate change and urban growth may entail significant reconfiguring of headwater streams, including a loss of ecosystem structure and services, which will be more costly than climate change alone. On local scales, stakeholders cannot control climate drivers but they can mitigate stream impacts via careful land use. Therefore, to conserve stream ecosystems, we recommend that proactive measures be taken to insure against species loss or severe population declines. Delays will inevitably exacerbate the impacts of both climate change and urbanization on headwater systems. PMID:19536343

  18. Forecasting the combined effects of urbanization and climate change on stream ecosystems: from impacts to management options.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Kären C; Palmer, Margaret A; Pizzuto, James E; Moglen, Glenn E; Angermeier, Paul L; Hilderbrand, Robert H; Dettinger, Michael; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-02-01

    .Synthesis and applications. The interaction of climate change and urban growth may entail significant reconfiguring of headwater streams, including a loss of ecosystem structure and services, which will be more costly than climate change alone. On local scales, stakeholders cannot control climate drivers but they can mitigate stream impacts via careful land use. Therefore, to conserve stream ecosystems, we recommend that proactive measures be taken to insure against species loss or severe population declines. Delays will inevitably exacerbate the impacts of both climate change and urbanization on headwater systems.

  19. Nitrogen Additions Affect Root Dynamics in a Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, K. M.; Treseder, K. K.

    2004-12-01

    As with many ecosystems, North American boreal forests are increasingly subjected to anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. To examine potential effects on plant growth, we created nitrogen fertilization plots in three sites along an Alaskan fire chronosequence composed of forests aged 5, 17, and 80 years. Each site had been exposed to two years of nitrogen fertilization, with four control plots and four nitrogen plots per site. General observations indicate that aboveground net primary productivity appears to be nitrogen limited in each site. We hypothesized that nitrogen fertilization would positively influence root dynamics as well, with nitrogen additions resulting in an increase in standing root biomass and length. To test our hypothesis, we used a minirhizotron camera to collect sequential images of roots in the top 10 cm of soil in both nitrogen fertilized and control plots in each site. Images were collected monthly during the growing season, with a total of five sampling times between May 2003 and May 2004. We then analyzed the images with WinRhizotron root measurement software. Nitrogen fertilization had varying effects on root biomass among the three sites, with a significant site by N interaction (P = 0.039). A decrease in root biomass was observed in the 5 and 80 year old sites, dropping from 207 g/m2 to 79 g/m2 and from 230 g/m2 to 129 g/m2 for the youngest and oldest sites, respectively. In contrast, root biomass increased from 52 g/m2 to 107 g/m2 in the 17 year old site. (Values are for the top 10 cm of soil only, and likely underestimate total root stocks.) Patterns in standing root lengths diverged from those of root biomass, with a 2.5-fold overall increase under nitrogen fertilization across all sites (P = 0.004). There were no significant differences among sites in nitrogen response. Standing root biomass and length differed from one another in their responses to nitrogen fertilization because nitrogen additions decreased specific root weight (as g

  20. Chapter A. Effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems in the South Platte River basin, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprague, Lori A.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Dupree, Jean A.

    2006-01-01

    This report describes the effects of urbanization on physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of stream ecosystems in 28 basins along an urban land-use gradient in the South Platte River Basin, Colorado and Wyoming, from 2002 through 2003. Study basins were chosen to minimize natural variability among basins due to factors such as geology, elevation, and climate and to maximize coverage of different stages of urban development among basins. Because land use or population density alone often are not a complete measure of urbanization, land use, land cover, infrastructure, and socioeconomic variables were integrated in a multimetric urban intensity index to represent the degree of urban development in each study basin. Physical characteristics studied included stream hydrology, stream temperature, and habitat; chemical characteristics studied included nutrients, pesticides, suspended sediment, sulfate, chloride, and fecal bacteria concentrations; and biological characteristics studied included algae, fish, and invertebrate communities. Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs), passive samplers that concentrate trace levels of hydrophobic organic contaminants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), also were used. The objectives of the study were to (1) examine physical, chemical, and biological responses along the gradient of urbanization; (2) determine the major physical, chemical, and landscape variables affecting the structure of aquatic communities; and (3) evaluate the relevance of the results to the management of water resources in the South Platte River Basin. Commonly observed effects of urbanization on instream physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, such as increased flashiness, higher magnitude and more frequent peak flows, increased concentrations of chemicals, and changes in aquatic community structure, generally were not observed in this study. None of the hydrologic, temperature, habitat

  1. The gap between what we measure and what we want to know about ecosystem services in streams and their linkages of human values

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Questions/Methods (190 words) We evaluate national stream monitoring data based on its capacity to link stream ecosystems to analyses of human well-being. As a nation we invest substantially in monitoring, but may miss opportunities to collect information that effecti...

  2. Maryland synoptic stream chemistry survey: estimating the number and distribution of streams affected by or at risk from acidification. Final report, November 1986-April 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Heimbuch, D.G.; Greening, H.S.; Filbin, G.J.

    1988-04-01

    The survey was designed to provide statewide estimates of the number and extent of stream resources presently affected by or at risk from acidification. Streams surveyed were selected as a stratified random sample from a statewide list of non-tidal stream reaches. The sample represented water-quality conditions in a population of interest comprising the state's headwater stream resources sampled during relatively constant phenological conditions during the spring of 1987. Of the 6875 non-tidal stream reaches in the state, an estimated 5411 stream reaches belong to the population of interest. Volunteers collected water samples from 559 randomly selected and 71 special interest reaches statewide. Samples were analyzed for acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC), pH, conductivity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), color, and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), using analytical methods developed for the EPA National Surface Water Survey.

  3. Differences in the sensitivity of fungi and bacteria to season and invertebrates affect leaf litter decomposition in a Mediterranean stream.

    PubMed

    Mora-Gómez, Juanita; Elosegi, Arturo; Duarte, Sofia; Cássio, Fernanda; Pascoal, Cláudia; Romaní, Anna M

    2016-08-01

    Microorganisms are key drivers of leaf litter decomposition; however, the mechanisms underlying the dynamics of different microbial groups are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of seasonal variation and invertebrates on fungal and bacterial dynamics, and on leaf litter decomposition. We followed the decomposition of Populus nigra litter in a Mediterranean stream through an annual cycle, using fine and coarse mesh bags. Irrespective of the season, microbial decomposition followed two stages. Initially, bacterial contribution to total microbial biomass was higher compared to later stages, and it was related to disaccharide and lignin degradation; in a later stage, bacteria were less important and were associated with hemicellulose and cellulose degradation, while fungi were related to lignin decomposition. The relevance of microbial groups in decomposition differed among seasons: fungi were more important in spring, whereas in summer, water quality changes seemed to favour bacteria and slowed down lignin and hemicellulose degradation. Invertebrates influenced litter-associated microbial assemblages (especially bacteria), stimulated enzyme efficiencies and reduced fungal biomass. We conclude that bacterial and fungal assemblages play distinctive roles in microbial decomposition and differ in their sensitivity to environmental changes, ultimately affecting litter decomposition, which might be particularly relevant in highly seasonal ecosystems, such as intermittent streams.

  4. Condition of stream ecosystem in the US: An overview of the first national assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Wadeable Streams Assessment (WSA) provided the first statistically sound summary of the ecological condition of streams and small rivers in the US. Information provided in the assessment filled an important gap in meeting the requirements of the US Clean Water Act. The purpos...

  5. Prevalance and consequences of the most frequently observed alien molluse in US wadeable stream ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien molluscs are widely distributed in U.S. streams. While some raise economic concerns on the order of billions of dollars, documentation of widespread ecological effects has, in some instances, been more elusive. A probability survey of wadeable streams of the coterminous U.S...

  6. URBAN STREAM BURIAL INCREASES WATERSHED-SCALE NITRATE EXPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) uptake in streams is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of streams in stormwater pipes in urban watersheds. We predicted that stream burial reduces the capacity of streams to remove nitrate (NO3-) from the water column by in...

  7. Ice cover affects the growth of a stream-dwelling fish.

    PubMed

    Watz, Johan; Bergman, Eva; Piccolo, John J; Greenberg, Larry

    2016-05-01

    Protection provided by shelter is important for survival and affects the time and energy budgets of animals. It has been suggested that in fresh waters at high latitudes and altitudes, surface ice during winter functions as overhead cover for fish, reducing the predation risk from terrestrial piscivores. We simulated ice cover by suspending plastic sheeting over five 30-m-long stream sections in a boreal forest stream and examined its effects on the growth and habitat use of brown trout (Salmo trutta) during winter. Trout that spent the winter under the artificial ice cover grew more than those in the control (uncovered) sections. Moreover, tracking of trout tagged with passive integrated transponders showed that in the absence of the artificial ice cover, habitat use during the day was restricted to the stream edges, often under undercut banks, whereas under the simulated ice cover condition, trout used the entire width of the stream. These results indicate that the presence of surface ice cover may improve the energetic status and broaden habitat use of stream fish during winter. It is therefore likely that reductions in the duration and extent of ice cover due to climate change will alter time and energy budgets, with potentially negative effects on fish production. PMID:26787075

  8. Ice cover affects the growth of a stream-dwelling fish.

    PubMed

    Watz, Johan; Bergman, Eva; Piccolo, John J; Greenberg, Larry

    2016-05-01

    Protection provided by shelter is important for survival and affects the time and energy budgets of animals. It has been suggested that in fresh waters at high latitudes and altitudes, surface ice during winter functions as overhead cover for fish, reducing the predation risk from terrestrial piscivores. We simulated ice cover by suspending plastic sheeting over five 30-m-long stream sections in a boreal forest stream and examined its effects on the growth and habitat use of brown trout (Salmo trutta) during winter. Trout that spent the winter under the artificial ice cover grew more than those in the control (uncovered) sections. Moreover, tracking of trout tagged with passive integrated transponders showed that in the absence of the artificial ice cover, habitat use during the day was restricted to the stream edges, often under undercut banks, whereas under the simulated ice cover condition, trout used the entire width of the stream. These results indicate that the presence of surface ice cover may improve the energetic status and broaden habitat use of stream fish during winter. It is therefore likely that reductions in the duration and extent of ice cover due to climate change will alter time and energy budgets, with potentially negative effects on fish production.

  9. Quality of dissolved organic matter affects planktonic but not biofilm bacterial production in streams.

    PubMed

    Kamjunke, Norbert; Herzsprung, Peter; Neu, Thomas R

    2015-02-15

    Streams and rivers are important sites of organic carbon mineralization which is dependent on the land use within river catchments. Here we tested whether planktonic and epilithic biofilm bacteria differ in their response to the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Thus, planktonic and biofilm bacterial production was compared with patterns of DOC along a land-use gradient in the Bode catchment area (Germany). The freshness index of DOC was positively related to the proportion of agricultural area in the catchment. The humification index correlated with the proportion of forest area. Abundance and production of planktonic bacteria were lower in headwaters than at downstream sites. Planktonic production was weakly correlated to the total concentration of DOC but more strongly to quality-measures as revealed by spectra indexes, i.e. positively to the freshness index and negatively to the humification index. In contrast to planktonic bacteria, abundance and production of biofilm bacteria were independent of DOC quality. This finding may be explained by the association of biofilm bacteria with benthic algae and an extracellular matrix which represent additional substrate sources. The data show that planktonic bacteria seem to be regulated at a landscape scale controlled by land use, whereas biofilm bacteria are regulated at a biofilm matrix scale controlled by autochthonous production. Thus, the effects of catchment-scale land use changes on ecosystem processes are likely lower in small streams dominated by biofilm bacteria than in larger streams dominated by planktonic bacteria. PMID:25460970

  10. Quality of dissolved organic matter affects planktonic but not biofilm bacterial production in streams.

    PubMed

    Kamjunke, Norbert; Herzsprung, Peter; Neu, Thomas R

    2015-02-15

    Streams and rivers are important sites of organic carbon mineralization which is dependent on the land use within river catchments. Here we tested whether planktonic and epilithic biofilm bacteria differ in their response to the quality of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Thus, planktonic and biofilm bacterial production was compared with patterns of DOC along a land-use gradient in the Bode catchment area (Germany). The freshness index of DOC was positively related to the proportion of agricultural area in the catchment. The humification index correlated with the proportion of forest area. Abundance and production of planktonic bacteria were lower in headwaters than at downstream sites. Planktonic production was weakly correlated to the total concentration of DOC but more strongly to quality-measures as revealed by spectra indexes, i.e. positively to the freshness index and negatively to the humification index. In contrast to planktonic bacteria, abundance and production of biofilm bacteria were independent of DOC quality. This finding may be explained by the association of biofilm bacteria with benthic algae and an extracellular matrix which represent additional substrate sources. The data show that planktonic bacteria seem to be regulated at a landscape scale controlled by land use, whereas biofilm bacteria are regulated at a biofilm matrix scale controlled by autochthonous production. Thus, the effects of catchment-scale land use changes on ecosystem processes are likely lower in small streams dominated by biofilm bacteria than in larger streams dominated by planktonic bacteria.

  11. The use of a Stream Visual Assessment Protocol to determine ecosystem integrity in an urban watershed in Puerto Rico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jesús-Crespo, Rebeca; Ramirez, Alonso

    The growing need to protect stream ecosystems in Puerto Rico requires the development of monitoring procedures that help determine management priorities. Physical habitat assessments have been used to make quick evaluations that are cost efficient and easy conduct, yet they need to be studied further to understand their accuracy at predicting stream health. This study evaluated the efficiency of the Hawaii Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (HSVAP) at determining integrity of streams within the highly urbanized Rio Piedras watershed in Puerto Rico. To validate the protocol we compared results from HSVAP assessments conducted at 16 reaches with water quality and macroinvertebrate data collected at the same sites. Results from linear regressions between the water quality measures and HSVAP scores showed that there was no significant relationships ( R2 = 0.48; p = 0.08). This implies that the protocol is not supported by the water quality data. However, results from regressions between macroinvertebrate diversity and the number of families per site showed a significant positive relation with HSVAP scores ( R2 = 0.30; p = 0.02; R2 = 0.24; p = 0.05). In addition, a significant negative relation was observed between HSVAP scores and the Family Biotic Index (FBI) ( R2 = 0.32; p = 0.02). Comparisons between ratings obtained from the FBI and HSVAP scores suggest that the HSVAP classified sites as having higher quality than the biological metric. Based on these results, it can be concluded that the HSVAP is a good tool for a general assessment of the physical characteristics of a stream, but it needs modifications to accurately assess ecological quality of streams in Puerto Rico.

  12. Chapter D. Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems in the Willamette River Basin and Surrounding Area, Oregon and Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waite, Ian R.; Sobieszczyk, Steven; Carpenter, Kurt D.; Arnsberg, Andrew J.; Johnson, Henry M.; Hughes, Curt A.; Sarantou, Michael J.; Rinella, Frank A.

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the effects of urbanization on physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of stream ecosystems in 28 watersheds along a gradient of urbanization in the Willamette River basin and surrounding area, Oregon and Washington, from 2003 through 2005. The study that generated the report is one of several urban-effects studies completed nationally by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program. Watersheds were selected to minimize natural variability caused by factors such as geology, elevation, and climate, and to maximize coverage of different stages of urban development among watersheds. Because land use or population density alone often are not a complete measure of urbanization, a combination of land use, land cover, infrastructure, and socioeconomic variables were integrated into a multimetric urban intensity index (UII) to represent the degree of urban development in each watershed. Physical characteristics studied include stream hydrology, stream temperature, and habitat; chemical characteristics studied include sulfate, chloride, nutrients, pesticides, dissolved and particulate organic and inorganic carbon, and suspended sediment; and biological characteristics studied include algal, macroinvertebrate, and fish assemblages. Semipermeable membrane devices, passive samplers that concentrate trace levels of hydrophobic organic contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls, also were used. The objectives of the study were to (1) examine physical, chemical, and biological responses along the gradient of urbanization and (2) determine the major physical, chemical, and landscape variables affecting the structure of aquatic communities. Common effects documented in the literature of urbanization on instream physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, such as increased contaminants, increased streamflow flashiness, increased concentrations of chemicals, and changes in

  13. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors.

    PubMed

    Marek, Michal V; Janouš, Dalibor; Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Věroslav; Marková, Irena

    2011-05-01

    By comparing five ecosystem types in the Czech Republic over several years, we recorded the highest carbon sequestration potential in an evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and an agroecosystem (65%), followed by European beech forest (25%) and a wetland ecosystem (20%). Because of a massive ecosystem respiration, the final carbon gain of the grassland was negative. Climate was shown to be an important factor of carbon uptake by ecosystems: by varying the growing season length (a 22-d longer season in 2005 than in 2007 increased carbon sink by 13%) or by the effect of short- term synoptic situations (e.g. summer hot and dry days reduced net carbon storage by 58% relative to hot and wet days). Carbon uptake is strongly affected by the ontogeny and a production strategy which is demonstrated by the comparison of seasonal course of carbon uptake between coniferous (Norway spruce) and deciduous (European beech) stands.

  14. Light limitation in a stream ecosystem: Responses by primary producers and consumers

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, W.R.; Ryon, M.G.; Schilling, E.M.

    1995-06-01

    Heavy shade presents serious challenges for primary producers and food-limited herbivores in forest streams. This study examines the response of periphyton and grazing snails (Elimia clavaeformis) to summer shade in White Oak Creek (WOC) in a Tennessee deciduous forest. Three experiments were performed: (1) in situ manipulation of light and snail density to test the effects of light limitation and grazing; (2) construction of photosynthesis-irradiance (P-I) curves to test for shade adaptation by periphyton; and (3) measurements of snail growth vs. irradiance. In the first experiment, light and snail densities were manipulated in a 2 x 2 factorial design. Snails at normal densities cropped periphyton biomass to low levels regardless of light regime, but periphyton productivity was higher at the open sites where snails grew faster and accumulated more lipid. Snail growth and lipid accumulation were strongly affected by intraspecific competition in both light regimes. In the second experiment, photosynthesis-irradiance curves for periphyton from shaded and open sites illustrated considerable shade adaptation: shaded periphyton was 2 times more efficient at low irradiance than with periphyton from open sites. Despite the greater efficiency of shaded periphyton at low irradiance, integrated primary production estimated with photosynthetic models was 4 times greater in the open because shade adaptation provided only partial compensation for the shade. In the third experiment, in situ snail growth again increased with decreasing shade. Bottom-up effects of light limitation were propagated very strongly in WOC, where the vertebrate fauna is dominated by a grazer that appears to escape top-down control. 68 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  15. Effects of urban development on stream ecosystems in nine metropolitan study areas across the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coles, James F.; McMahon, Gerard; Bell, Amanda H.; Brown, Larry R.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Scudder Eikenberry, Barbara C.; Woodside, Michael D.; Cuffney, Thomas F.; Bryant, Wade L.; Cappiella, Karen; Fraley-McNeal, Lisa; Stack, William P.

    2012-01-01

    Which urban-related stressors are most closely linked to biological community degradation, and how can multiple stressors be managed to protect stream health as a watershed becomes increasingly urbanized?

  16. MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES TO DETERMINE IMPACTS ON ROCKY MOUNTAIN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using reduncancy (RDA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) we assessed relationships between chemical and physical characteristics and periphyton at 105 stream sites sampled by REMAP in the mineral belt of the southern Rockies ecoregion in Colorado. We contrasted results ob...

  17. HYDROLOGY OF CENTRAL GREAT BASIN MEADOW ECOSYSTEMS – EFFECTS OF STREAM INCISION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Riparian wet meadow complexes in the mountains of the central Great Basin are scarce, ecologically important systems that are threatened by stream incision. Our interdisciplinary group has investigated 1) the interrelationships of geomorphology, hydrology, and vegetation; and 2) ...

  18. Chapter A. Effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems in the South Platte River basin, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprague, Lori A.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Dupree, Jean A.

    2006-01-01

    This report describes the effects of urbanization on physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of stream ecosystems in 28 basins along an urban land-use gradient in the South Platte River Basin, Colorado and Wyoming, from 2002 through 2003. Study basins were chosen to minimize natural variability among basins due to factors such as geology, elevation, and climate and to maximize coverage of different stages of urban development among basins. Because land use or population density alone often are not a complete measure of urbanization, land use, land cover, infrastructure, and socioeconomic variables were integrated in a multimetric urban intensity index to represent the degree of urban development in each study basin. Physical characteristics studied included stream hydrology, stream temperature, and habitat; chemical characteristics studied included nutrients, pesticides, suspended sediment, sulfate, chloride, and fecal bacteria concentrations; and biological characteristics studied included algae, fish, and invertebrate communities. Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs), passive samplers that concentrate trace levels of hydrophobic organic contaminants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), also were used. The objectives of the study were to (1) examine physical, chemical, and biological responses along the gradient of urbanization; (2) determine the major physical, chemical, and landscape variables affecting the structure of aquatic communities; and (3) evaluate the relevance of the results to the management of water resources in the South Platte River Basin. Commonly observed effects of urbanization on instream physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, such as increased flashiness, higher magnitude and more frequent peak flows, increased concentrations of chemicals, and changes in aquatic community structure, generally were not observed in this study. None of the hydrologic, temperature, habitat

  19. Carbon dynamics and their link to dissolved organic matter quality across contrasting stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bodmer, Pascal; Heinz, Marlen; Pusch, Martin; Singer, Gabriel; Premke, Katrin

    2016-05-15

    Streams represent active components of the carbon cycle as emitters of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane to the atmosphere at a global scale. However, the mechanisms and governing factors of these emissions are still largely unknown, especially concerning the effect of land use. We compared dissolved and gaseous carbon dynamics in streams bordered by contrasting types of land use, specifically agriculture and forest. Carbon dioxide and methane partial pressures (pCO2 and pCH4, respectively) in the water body and carbon emissions via both gases were studied for 24h during four field expeditions. pCH4 did not differ between the two system types. pCO2 was constantly oversaturated in all streams and significantly higher in agricultural streams (annual mean 4282 ppm) compared to forest streams (annual mean 2189 ppm) during all seasons. However, emissions of CO2 were not significantly different between the stream types due to significantly higher gas transfer velocity in forest compared to agricultural streams. pCO2 was significantly positively correlated to the concentrations of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved nitrogen and soluble reactive phosphorus in the water. Furthermore, pCO2 was correlated to optical parameters of dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality, e.g., it increased with indicators of molecular size and an allochthonous fluorescent component identified by Parallel Factor Analysis (PARAFAC). This study demonstrates that different forms of land use may trigger a cascade of effects on the carbon production and emission of streams linked to changes in DOM quality. PMID:26938320

  20. Nitrogen retention in natural Mediterranean wetland-streams affected by agricultural runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-García, V.; Gómez, R.; Vidal-Abarca, M. R.; Suárez, M. L.

    2009-12-01

    Nitrogen retention efficiency in natural Mediterranean wetland-streams affected by agricultural runoff was quantified and the effect of the temporal variability and hydrological/chemical loading was examined from March 2007 to June 2008 in two wetland-streams located in Southeast Spain. Nitrate-N (NO-3-N), ammonium-N (NH+4-N), total nitrogen-N (TN-N), total organic nitrogen-N (TON-N) and chloride (Cl-) concentrations were analyzed to calculate nitrogen retention efficiencies. These wetland-streams consistently reduced water nitrogen concentration throughout the year with higher values for NO-3-N (72.3%), even though the mean value of inflow NO-3-N concentrations was above 20 mg l-1. Additionally, they usually acted as sinks for TON-N (8.4%), but as sources for NH+4-N. Over the entire study period, the Taray and Parra wetland-streams were capable of removing on average 1.6 and 0.8 kg NO-3-N a day-1, respectively. Retention efficiencies were not affected by temperature variation. NO-3-N retention efficiency followed a seasonal pattern with the highest retention values in summer (June-September). The temporal variability for NO-3-N retention efficiency was positively and negatively explained by the hydrologic retention and the inflow NO-3-N concentration (R2adj=0.815, p<0.01), respectively. No significant regression model was found for TON-N and NH+4-N. Finally, the conservation of these Mediterranean wetland-streams may help to not only improve the surface water quality in agricultural catchments, but to also achieve good ecological status for surface waters, this being the Water Framework Directive's ultimate purpose.

  1. Nutrient cycling and ecosystem metabolism in boreal streams of the Central Siberian Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diemer, L.; McDowell, W. H.; Prokushkin, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic boreal streams are undergoing considerable change in carbon and nutrient biogeochemistry due to degrading permafrost and increasing fire activity. Recent studies show that fire increases transport of inorganic solutes from the boreal landscape to arctic streams in some regions; couple this with expected greater labile dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from deepening active layers, enhanced biomass production, and increased annual precipitation and boreal streams may experience greater in-stream primary production and respiration in the coming century. Little is known about the spatial and temporal dynamics of inorganic nutrients in relation to C availability in headwater streams of a major Arctic region, the Central Siberian Plateau. Our preliminary data of Central Siberian headwater streams show NO3 and PO4 concentrations near or below detection limits (e.g. nine samples taken in spring from a small stream near the Russian settlement of Tura averaged 10 μg/L NO3-N and 9.7 μg/L PO4-P), and recent studies in Central Siberia suggest that bioavailable organic matter and inorganic nutrients such as NO3 will likely increase with climate warming. We examined the fate of nutrients in Central Siberian streams using Tracer for Spiraling Curve Characterization (TASCC) additions of NO3, NH4, and PO4 along with conservative tracer, NaCl, in spring at high and low discharges in streams underlain by continuous permafrost in Central Siberia. We also sampled two sites in spring every 2 hours overnight for 24 hours to document any diel patterns in DOC and inorganic nutrients. Our results thus far show that NO3 uptake length may be strongly correlated with DOC concentration (a function of fire activity). Preliminary results also show that despite high discharge and cold temperatures (4-8°C) in mid to late spring, there appears to be biological activity stimulating a diel signal for NO3 with maximum concentration corresponding to low light (11 PM). Investigating the primary

  2. Hydrologically Driven Dynamics of Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentration and Composition in a Headwater Stream Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, L. A.; McLaughlin, C.; Hogan, K. R.; Newbold, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    A 34-year record of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and compositions was used to assess the role of hydrologic variability in the carbon cycle of a headwater stream. The DOC concentration record is characterized by sharply increasing values during storms and annual minima associated with soil freezing in winter (Fig. 1). Baseflow discharge accounts for approximately 67% of the total runoff in this 3rd-order stream in the Pennsylvania Piedmont but storm flows transport approximately 75% of the DOC flux. The annual DOC flux varies as much as 3-fold and this variability is driven by unusual events such as major storms and prolonged droughts. During storms DOC quality changes as water moves to the stream through organic matter-rich upper soil horizons, by passing terrestrial controls on DOC content. The pool of biodegradable DOC (BDOC) as a percentage of total DOC increases from 33% to 73% with the most labile BDOC class increasing 4-fold while the semi-labile BDOC pool increases 2-fold. Storms also alter the structure and productivity of benthic bacterial communities that metabolize DOC in streams, though the impacts are tempered by stability of streambed substrata. For example, a February storm reduced the biomass and productivity of bacteria attached to sediments by 48% and 90%, respectively, while reducing the biomass of bacteria attached to rocks by 21% but increasing bacterial productivity by 22%. Molecular fingerprints of community compositions revealed a stable "climax community" whose alteration is influenced by the magnitude of the storm flows and eventually returns to its original composition. Actual measurements of carbon cycling based on whole-stream releases and sampling the stream bed microbial community are not feasible during storms, but we argue that for headwater streams it is the post-disturbance condition rather than any processing which occurs during storm flows that shapes the magnitude and dynamics of carbon cycling.

  3. How does vineyard management intensity affect ecosystem services and disservices - insights from a meta-analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, Silvia; Zaller, Johann G.; Kratschmer, Sophie; Pachinger, Bärbel; Strauss, Peter; Bauer, Thomas; Paredes, Daniel; Gómez, José A.; Guzmán, Gema; Landa, Blanca; Nicolai, Annegret; Burel, Francoise; Cluzeau, Daniel; Popescu, Daniela; Bunea, Claudiu-Ioan; Potthoff, Martin; Guernion, Muriel; Batáry, Péter

    2016-04-01

    Viticultural agro-ecosystems provide a range of different ecosystem services which are affected by management decisions of winegrowers. At the global scale, vineyards are often high intensity agricultural systems with bare soil or inter-row vegetation consisting of only a few plant species. These systems primarily aim at optimizing wine production by reducing competition for water and nutrients between grapevines and weeds and by preventing the outbreak of pests and diseases. At the same time, this kind of management is often associated with ecosystem disservices such as high rates of soil erosion, degradation of soil structure and fertility, contamination of groundwater and decline of biodiversity. Recently, several initiatives across the world tried to overcome detrimental effects of that management style by creating biodiversity friendly vineyards. The consequences of establishing divers cover crop mixes or tolerating spontaneous vegetation in vineyards for ecosystem services (including yield) overstretching local case studies has not been investigated yet. This meta-analysis will provide an overview of all published studies comparing the effects of different vineyard management practices on a range of different ecosystem services like biodiversity, pest control, pollination, soil conservation and carbon sequestration. The aggregated effect size will point out which management measures can provide the best overall net sum of ecosystem services. This meta-analysis is part of the transdisciplinary BiodivERsA project VineDivers and will ultimately lead into management and policy recommendations for various stakeholder groups engaged in viticulture.

  4. Product-to-parent reversion processes: Stream-hyporheic spiraling increases ecosystem exposure and environmental persistence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ward, A. S.; Cwiertny, D. M.; Kolodziej, E. P.

    2014-12-01

    The product-to-parent reversion of metabolites of trenbolone acetate (TBA), a steroidal growth promoter used widely in beef cattle production, was recently observed to occur in environmental waters. The rapid forward reaction is by direct photolysis (i.e., photohydration), with the much slower reversion reaction occurring via dehydration in the dark. The objective of this study is to quantify the potential effect of this newly discovered reversible process on TBA metabolite concentrations and total bioactivity exposure in fluvial systems. Here, we demonstrate increased persistence of TBA metabolites in the stream and hyporheic zone due to the reversion process, increasing chronic and acute exposure to these endocrine-active compounds along a stream. The perpetually dark hyporheic zone is a key location for reversion in the system, ultimately providing a source of the parent compound to the stream and increasing mean in-stream concentration of 17α-trenbolone (17α-TBOH) by 40% of the input concentration under representative fluvial conditions. As such, regulatory frameworks for compounds undergoing product-to-parent reversion will require new approaches for assessing total exposure to bioactive compounds. Further, we demonstrate generalized cases for prediction of exposure for species with product-to-parent reversion in stream-hyporheic systems.

  5. Effects of Recent Debris Flows on Stream Ecosystems and Food Webs in Small Watersheds in the Central Klamath Mountains, NW California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cover, M. R.; de La Fuente, J.

    2008-12-01

    Debris flows are common erosional processes in steep mountain areas throughout the world, but little is known about the long-term ecological effects of debris flows on stream ecosystems. Based on debris flow histories that were developed for each of ten tributary basins, we classified channels as having experienced recent (1997) or older (pre-1997) debris flows. Of the streams classified as older debris flow streams, three streams experienced debris flows during floods in 1964 or 1974, while two streams showed little or no evidence of debris flow activity in the 20th century. White alder (Alnus rhombifolia) was the dominant pioneer tree species in recent debris flow streams, forming localized dense patches of canopy cover. Maximum temperatures and daily temperature ranges were significantly higher in recent debris flow streams than in older debris flow streams. Debris flows resulted in a shift in food webs from allochthonous to autochthonous energy sources. Primary productivity, as measured by oxygen change during the day, was greater in recent debris flow streams, resulting in increased abundances of grazers such as the armored caddisfly Glossosoma spp. Detritivorous stoneflies were virtually absent in recent debris flow streams because of the lack of year-round, diverse sources of leaf litter. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were abundant in four of the recent debris flow streams. Poor recolonizers, such as the Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon tenebrosus), coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei), and signal crayfish (Pacifistacus leniusculus), were virtually absent in recent debris flow streams. Forest and watershed managers should consider the role of forest disturbances, such as road networks, on debris flow frequency and intensity, and the resulting ecological effects on stream ecosystems.

  6. Legacy source of mercury in an urban stream-wetland ecosystem in central North Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Deonarine, Amrika; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Zhang, Tong; Cai, Yong; Richardson, Curtis J

    2015-11-01

    In the United States, aquatic mercury contamination originates from point and non-point sources to watersheds. Here, we studied the contribution of mercury in urban runoff derived from historically contaminated soils and the subsequent production of methylmercury in a stream-wetland complex (Durham, North Carolina), the receiving water of this runoff. Our results demonstrated that the mercury originated from the leachate of grass-covered athletic fields. A fraction of mercury in this soil existed as phenylmercury, suggesting that mercurial anti-fungal compounds were historically applied to this soil. Further downstream in the anaerobic sediments of the stream-wetland complex, a fraction (up to 9%) of mercury was converted to methylmercury, the bioaccumulative form of the metal. Importantly, the concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury were reduced to background levels within the stream-wetland complex. Overall, this work provides an example of a legacy source of mercury that should be considered in urban watershed models and watershed management.

  7. Mercury cycling in stream ecosystems. 1. Water column chemistry and transport

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brigham, M.E.; Wentz, D.A.; Aiken, G.R.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.

    2009-01-01

    We studied total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in eight streams, located in Oregon, Wisconsin, and Florida, that span large ranges in climate, landscape characteristics, atmospheric Hg deposition, and water chemistry. While atmospheric deposition was the source of Hg at each site, basin characteristics appeared to mediate this source by providing controls on methylation and fluvial THg and MeHg transport. Instantaneous concentrations of filtered total mercury (FTHg) and filtered methylmercury (FMeHg) exhibited strong positive correlations with both dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and streamflow for most streams, whereas mean FTHg and FMeHg concentrations were correlated with wetland density of the basins. For all streams combined, whole water concentrations (sum of filtered and particulate forms) of THg and MeHg correlated strongly with DOC and suspended sediment concentrations in the water column. ?? 2009 American Chemical Society.

  8. Mercury cycling in stream ecosystems. 2. Benthic methylmercury production and bed sediment - Pore water partitioning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marvin-DiPasquale, M.; Lutz, M.A.; Brigham, M.E.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Aiken, G.R.; Orem, W.H.; Hall, B.D.

    2009-01-01

    Mercury speciation, controls on methylmercury (MeHg) production, and bed sediment - pore water partitioning of total Hg (THg) and MeHg were examined in bed sediment from eight geochemically diverse streams where atmospheric deposition was the predominant Hg input. Across all streams, sediment THg concentrations were best described as a combined function of sediment percent fines (%fines; particles < 63 ??m) and organic content. MeHg concentrations were best described as a combined function of organic content and the activity of the Hg(II)-methylating microbial community and were comparable to MeHg concentrations in streams with Hg inputs from industrial and mining sources. Whole sediment tin-reducible inorganic reactive Hg (Hg(II)R) was used as a proxy measure for the Hg(II) pool available for microbial methylation. In conjunction with radiotracer-derived rate constants of 203Hg(II) methylation, Hg(II)R was used to calculate MeHg production potential rates and to explain the spatial variability in MeHg concentration. The %Hg(II)R (of THg) was low (2.1 ?? 5.7%) and was inversely related to both microbial sulfate reduction rates and sediment total reduced sulfur concentration. While sediment THg concentrations were higher in urban streams, %MeHg and %Hg(II)R were higher in nonurban streams. Sediment pore water distribution coefficients (log Kd's) for both THg and MeHg were inversely related to the log-transformed ratio of pore water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) to bed sediment %fines. The stream with the highest drainage basin wetland density also had the highest pore water DOC ?? 2009 American Chemical Society.

  9. Upland disturbance affects headwater stream nutrients and suspended sediments during baseflow and stormflow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Houser, J.N.; Mulholland, P.J.; Maloney, K.O.

    2006-01-01

    Because catchment characteristics determine sediment and nutrient inputs to streams, upland disturbance can affect stream chemistry. Catchments at the Fort Benning Military Installation (near Columbus, Georgia) experience a range of upland disturbance intensities due to spatial variability in the intensity of military training. We used this disturbance gradient to investigate the effects of upland soil and vegetation disturbance on stream chemistry. During baseflow, mean total suspended sediment (TSS) concentration and mean inorganic suspended sediment (ISS) concentration increased with catchment disturbance intensity (TSS: R2 = 0.7, p = 0.005, range = 4.0-10.1 mg L-1; ISS: R2 = 0.71, p = 0.004, range = 2.04-7.3 mg L-1); dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration (R2 = 0.79, p = 0.001, range = 1.5-4.1 mg L-1) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentration (R2 = 0.75, p = 0.008, range = 1.9-6.2 ??g L-1) decreased with increasing disturbance intensity; and ammonia (NH 4+), nitrate (NO3-), and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations were unrelated to disturbance intensity. The increase in TSS and ISS during storms was positively correlated with disturbance (R2 = 0.78 and 0.78, p = 0.01 and 0.01, respectively); mean maximum change in SRP during storms increased with disturbance (r = 0.7, p = 0.04); and mean maximum change in NO3- during storms was marginally correlated with disturbance (r = 0.58, p = 0.06). Soil characteristics were significant predictors of baseflow DOC, SRP, and Ca 2+, but were not correlated with suspended sediment fractions, any nitrogen species, or pH. Despite the largely intact riparian zones of these headwater streams, upland soil and vegetation disturbances had clear effects on stream chemistry during baseflow and stormflow conditions. ?? ASA, CSSA, SSSA.

  10. Metabolic stoichiometry and the ecology of fear in Trinidadian guppies: consequences for life histories and stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Dalton, Christopher M; Flecker, Alexander S

    2014-11-01

    Consumer-driven nutrient recycling, the release of chemicals as byproducts and excesses of consumer physiology, can alter ecosystems by changing the availability of limiting nutrients at the base of the food web. The mere presence of predators can alter consumer physiology by restricting food intake and inducing stress. Predation risk, then, can influence ecosystem function by modifying the role of prey as nutrient recyclers, yet there are few empirical tests of how predation risk alters nutrient recycling by prey. Here, we present the results of a test for the effects of predation risk on the C and N budgets of Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We reared female guppies for 7 weeks on diets of varying quality, and we compared control individuals to those exposed continuously to chemical cues emitted by a guppy predator, Crenicichla alta. We measured food consumption, growth rate, tissue elemental stoichiometry and N excretion by guppies on all treatments. Guppies strongly reduced food intake in the presence of predator cues; however, cue-exposed guppies assimilated nutrients more efficiently than controls. Specifically, cue-exposed guppies strongly increased N retention efficiency while only moderately increasing C efficiency. Consequently, guppies reared with predator cues excreted 39% less N than control guppies. We suggest that reduced foraging, enhanced nutrient efficiency, and decreased N excretion are adaptive responses to the extrinsic mortality threat posed by guppy predators. The resulting substantial reduction in N excretion by guppies may influence ecosystem function in natural streams by reducing the supply of a limiting nutrient. PMID:25255854

  11. Mercury in streams at Grand Portage National Monument (Minnesota, USA): assessment of ecosystem sensitivity and ecological risk.

    PubMed

    Rolfhus, Kristofer R; Wiener, James G; Haro, Roger J; Sandheinrich, Mark B; Bailey, Sean W; Seitz, Brandon R

    2015-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) in water, sediment, soils, seston, and biota were quantified for three streams in the Grand Portage National Monument (GRPO) in far northeastern Minnesota to assess ecosystem contamination and the potential for harmful exposure of piscivorous fish, wildlife, and humans to methylmercury (MeHg). Concentrations of total Hg in water, sediment, and soil were typical of those in forest ecosystems within the region, whereas MeHg concentrations and percent MeHg in these ecosystem components were markedly higher than values reported elsewhere in the western Great Lakes Region. Soils and sediment were Hg-enriched, containing approximately 4-fold more total Hg per unit of organic matter. We hypothesized that localized Hg enrichment was due in part to anthropogenic pollution associated with historic fur-trading activity. Bottom-up forcing of bioaccumulation was evidenced by MeHg concentrations in larval dragonflies, which were near the maxima for dragonflies sampled concurrently from five other national park units in the region. Despite its semi-remote location, GRPO is a Hg-sensitive landscape in which MeHg is produced and bioaccumulated in aquatic food webs to concentrations that pose ecological risks to MeHg-sensitive piscivores, including predatory fish, belted kingfisher, and mink.

  12. Transport of root-derived CO2 via the transpiration stream affects aboveground tree physiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloemen, J.; McGuire, M. A.; Aubrey, D. P.; Teskey, R. O.; Steppe, K.

    2012-04-01

    Recent research on soil CO2 efflux has shown that belowground autotrophic respiration is largely underestimated using classical net CO2 flux measurements. Aubrey & Teskey (2009) found that in forest ecosystems a substantial portion of the CO2 released from root respiration remained within the root system and was transported aboveground in the stem via the transpiration stream. The magnitude of this upward movement of CO2 from belowground tissues suggested important implications for how we measure above- and belowground respiration. If a considerable fraction of root-respired CO2 is transported aboveground, where it might be fixed in woody and leaf tissues, then we are routinely underestimating the amount of C needed to sustain belowground tissues. In this study, we infused 13C labeled water into the base of field-grown poplar trees as a surrogate for root-respired CO2 to investigate the possible role of root-derived CO2 as substrate for carbon fixation. The label was transported upwards from the base of the tree toward the top. During its ascent, the 13C label was removed from the transpiration stream and fixed by chlorophyll-containing woody (young bark and xylem) and leaf (petiole) tissues. Moreover, based on 13C analysis of gas samples, we observed that up to 88 ± 0.10 % of the label applied was lost to the atmosphere by stem and branch efflux higher in the trees. Given that one-half of root-respired CO2 may follow this internal flux pathway (Aubrey & Teskey, 2009), we calculated that up to 44% of the root-respired CO2 could diffuse to the atmosphere once transported to the stem and branches. Thus, a large portion of CO2 that diffuses out of aboveground tissues may actually result from root respiration. Our results show that CO2 originating belowground can be transported internally to aboveground parts of trees, where it will have an important impact on tree physiology. Internal transport of CO2 indicates that the gas exchange approach to estimating above- and

  13. Fine sediment as environmental stressor affecting freshwater mussel behavior and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Lummer, Eva-Maria; Auerswald, Karl; Geist, Juergen

    2016-11-15

    Fine sediment pollution is considered a major stressor for aquatic ecosystems and their biodiversity. In particular, fine sediments have been suggested to play a crucial role in the declines of freshwater mussels which are considered keystone fauna of streams and rivers. Whereas the effects of deposited fine sediments on recruitment failure are well known, effects of suspended fine sediments on adult mussel behavior are less studied. Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of fine sediment exposure on freshwater mussel behavior and on mussel-dependent ecosystem services. Unio pictorum mussels were used to test three behavioral endpoints: Hall activity, transition frequency and relative water clearance rate. Mussels were exposed to fine sediments of different particle size classes (<45μm, 45-63μm, 63-125μm) and different concentration (0-10gL(-1)) of the smallest particle size class. Hall sensor technology and turbidity measurements were used to detect mussel behavior in presence of suspended sediments. Results revealed that mussels improve clearance of suspended particles out of the water column by 35%, independent of particle size class and concentration. Transition frequency was determined an unsuitable behavioral endpoint for non-soluble substances. Contrary to previous studies, we could demonstrate that fine sediments do not interfere with filtration by mussels and that mussels have a great influence on water purification, providing a valuable ecosystem service. PMID:27422724

  14. Restoration of a forested wetland ecosystem in a thermally impacted stream corridor

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, E.A.; McKee, W.H. Jr.; Dulohery, C.J.

    1995-09-01

    The Savannah River Swamp is a 3,020 Ha forested wetland on the floodplain of the Savannah River and is located on the Department of Energy`s Savannah River Site (SRS). Major impacts to the swamp hydrology occurred with the completion of the production reactors and one coal-fired powerhouse at the SRS in the early 1950`s. Water was pumped from the Savannah River, through secondary heat exchangers of the reactors, and discharged into three of the tributary streams that flow into the swamp. This continued from 1954 to 1988 at various levels. The sustained increases in water volume resulted in overflow of the original stream banks and the creation of additional floodplains. Accompanying this was considerable erosion of the original stream corridor and deposition of a deep silt layer on the newly formed delta. Heated water was discharged directly into Pen Branch and water temperature in the stream often exceeded 50 C. The nearly continuous flood of the swamp, the thermal load of the water, and the heavy silting resulted in complete mortality of the original vegetation in large areas of the floodplain. Research has been ongoing to determine methods to reintroduce tree species characteristic of more mature forested wetlands. The goal of the restoration is to create structural and biological diversity in the forest canopy by establishing a mix of species typically present in riparian and wetland forests of the area.

  15. DIATOM INDICES OF STREAM ECOSYSTEM CONDITIONS: COMPARISON OF GENUS VS. SPECIES LEVEL IDENTIFICATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Diatom assemblage data collected between 1993 and 1995 from 233 Mid-Appalachian streams were used to compare indices of biotic integrity based on genus vs. species level taxonomy. Thirty-seven genera and 197 species of diatoms were identified from these samples. Metrics included...

  16. Leaf Degradation, Macroinvertebrate Shredders & Energy Flow in Streams: A Laboratory-Based Exercise Examining Ecosystem Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sparkes, Timothy C.; Mills, Colleen M.; Volesky, Lisa; Talkington, Jennifer; Brooke, Joanna

    2008-01-01

    A laboratory-based exercise that demonstrates mechanisms underlying leaf degradation in streams. Students examine the effects of "leaf conditioning" on the feeding behavior of invertebrate shredders. The exercise is completed in two sessions and can be adapted to both high school and college levels.

  17. Stable Isotope Investigation of Marine-Terrestrial Nitrogen Linkages in Salmon Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sayer, A. M.; Welker, J. M.; Rogers, M.; Rinella, D. J.; Sveinbjornsson, B.; Wipfli, M.

    2005-12-01

    Our research is addressing marine-terrestrial nitrogen linkages using stable isotope techniques (δ15N). Throughout coastal Alaska, salmon migrate each year into riparian systems transporting marine-produced biomass (carbon, phosphorous and nitrogen) that is decomposed, recycled and used by juvenile fish, invertebrates, carnivores and in some cases aquatic and terrestrial vegetation. These inputs of N into the terrestrial landscape have a host of cascading implications including the maintenance of biodiversity, enhanced survivorship of juvenile salmon and support of a complex food web that includes primary and secondary consumers (bears and eagles) and herbivores such as moose. A central question regarding this marine-terrestrial linkage is whether vegetation (aquatic or terrestrial) uses marine-derived N in metabolism and whether this fertilization effect increases leaf N contents, leads to higher rates of plant growth, results in higher rates of leaf gas exchange, and increases forage quantity and quality. By analyzing the δ15N-values of plants we will be able to fingerprint marine N use by plants and the degree to which this N contributes to the nitrogen budget of riparian vegetation.We are quantifying marine N use by aquatic and terrestrial vegetation (trees, shrubs and grasses) within the Kenai River watershed using a comparative approach sampling streams with annual salmon runs and streams without runs (waterfall inhibiting salmon spawning). We will determine the relationship between local hydrology and marine nutrient access using a multi-isotope approach which examines the relationship between plant water sources and relations and marine N use. We will ascertain the ecological importance of this N source by comparing the growth and ecophysiology of riparian vegetation along salmon impacted and non impacted streams. Initial results indicate that riparian vegetation along streams with large salmon runs have higher leaf N contents and enriched δ15N values

  18. Factors Affecting Nitrate Delivery to Streams from Shallow Ground Water in the North Carolina Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, Stephen L.; Spruill, Timothy B.

    2008-01-01

    An analysis of data collected at five flow-path study sites between 1997 and 2006 was performed to identify the factors needed to formulate a comprehensive program, with a focus on nitrogen, for protecting ground water and surface water in the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Water-quality protection in the Coastal Plain requires the identification of factors that affect the transport of nutrients from recharge areas to streams through the shallow ground-water system. Some basins process or retain nitrogen more readily than others, and the factors that affect nitrogen processing and retention were the focus of this investigation to improve nutrient management in Coastal Plain streams and to reduce nutrient loads to coastal waters. Nitrate reduction in ground water was observed at all five flow-path study sites in the North Carolina Coastal Plain, although the extent of reduction at each site was influenced by various environmental, hydrogeologic, and geochemical factors. Denitrification was the most common factor responsible for decreases in nitrate along the ground-water flow paths. Specific factors, some of which affect denitrification rates, that appeared to influence ground-water nitrate concentrations along the flow paths or in the streams include soil drainage, presence or absence of riparian buffers, evapotranspiration, fertilizer use, ground-water recharge rates and residence times, aquifer properties, subsurface tile drainage, sources and amounts of organic matter, and hyporheic processes. The study data indicate that the nitrate-reducing capacity of the buffer zone combined with that of the hyporheic zone can substantially lower the amount of ground-water nitrate discharged to streams in agricultural settings of the North Carolina Coastal Plain. At the watershed scale, the effects of ground-water discharge on surface-water quality appear to be greatly influenced by streamflow conditions and the presence of extensive riparian vegetation. Streamflow statistics

  19. Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model

    SciTech Connect

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi; Wang, Weile; Wang, Han; Hayes, Daniel J; McGuire, A. David; Hastings, Alan; Schimel, David

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances have been recognized as a key factor shaping terrestrial ecosystem states and dynamics. A general model that quantitatively describes the relationship between carbon storage and disturbance regime is critical for better understanding large scale terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics. We developed a model (REGIME) to quantify ecosystem carbon storage capacities (E[x]) under varying disturbance regimes with an analytical solution E[x] = U {center_dot} {tau}{sub E} {center_dot} {lambda}{lambda} + s {tau} 1, where U is ecosystem carbon influx, {tau}{sub E} is ecosystem carbon residence time, and {tau}{sub 1} is the residence time of the carbon pool affected by disturbances (biomass pool in this study). The disturbance regime is characterized by the mean disturbance interval ({lambda}) and the mean disturbance severity (s). It is a Michaelis-Menten-type equation illustrating the saturation of carbon content with mean disturbance interval. This model analytically integrates the deterministic ecosystem carbon processes with stochastic disturbance events to reveal a general pattern of terrestrial carbon dynamics at large scales. The model allows us to get a sense of the sensitivity of ecosystems to future environmental changes just by a few calculations. According to the REGIME model, for example, approximately 1.8 Pg C will be lost in the high-latitude regions of North America (>45{sup o} N) if fire disturbance intensity increases around 5.7 time the current intensity to the end of the twenty-first century, which will require around 12% increases in net primary productivity (NPP) to maintain stable carbon stocks. If the residence time decreased 10% at the same time additional 12.5% increases in NPP are required to keep current C stocks. The REGIME model also lays the foundation for analytically modeling the interactions between deterministic biogeochemical processes and stochastic disturbance events.

  20. ORGANIC POLLUTANT DEPOSITION TO THE SIERRA NEVADA (CALIFORNIA, USA) SNOWPACK AND ASSOCIATED LAKE AND STREAM ECOSYSTEM

    EPA Science Inventory

    High elevation ecosystems in the western USA and Canada are receiving deposition of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that presumably originate in the USA as well as outside its borders. In April 1992 we obtained paired snowpack samples from each of two watersheds located in t...

  1. Fluid Dynamics Applied to Streams. Physical Processes in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems, Transport Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Christina E.

    This module is part of a series designed to be used by life science students for instruction in the application of physical theory to ecosystem operation. Most modules contain computer programs which are built around a particular application of a physical process. This module deals specifically with concepts that are basic to fluid flow and…

  2. Accounting for multiple stressors in regional stream ecosystem analysis: A demonstration with riparian invasive plants

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Questions/Methods: Large cross-sectional data sets allow testing of hypotheses about how one part of an ecosystem relates to other parts. Tests such as these are of interest for many reasons, one of which is to gain insight into the role of stressors, such as land co...

  3. THE INFLUENCE OF SUBURBAN LAND USE ON HABITAT AND BIOTIC INTEGRITY OF COASTAL RHODE ISLAND STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watershed land use in suburban areas can affect stream biota through degradation of instream habitat, water quality, and riparian vegetation. By monitoring stream biotic communities in various geographic regions, we can better understand and conserve our watershed ecosystems. The...

  4. Natural and anthropogenic sources and processes affecting water chemistry in two South Korean streams.

    PubMed

    Shin, Woo-Jin; Ryu, Jong-Sik; Mayer, Bernhard; Lee, Kwang-Sik; Lee, Sin-Woo

    2014-07-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) in a watershed provides potential sources of pollutants for surface and subsurface waters that can deteriorate water quality. Between March and early August 2011, water samples were collected from two streams in South Korea, one dominantly draining a watershed with carbonate bedrock affected by coal mines and another draining a watershed with silicate bedrock and a relatively undisturbed catchment area. The objective of the study was to identify the sources and processes controlling water chemistry, which was dependent on bedrock and land use. In the Odae stream (OS), the stream in the silicate-dominated catchment, Ca, Na, and HCO3 were the dominant ions and total dissolved solids (TDS) was low (26.1-165 mg/L). In the Jijang stream (JS), in the carbonate-dominated watershed, TDS (224-434 mg/L) and ion concentrations were typically higher, and Ca and SO4 were the dominant ions due to carbonate weathering and oxidation of pyrite exposed at coal mines. Dual isotopic compositions of sulfate (δ(34)SSO4 and δ(18)OSO4) verified that the SO4 in JS is derived mainly from sulfide mineral oxidation in coal mines. Cl in JS was highest upstream and decreased progressively downstream, which implies that pollutants from recreational facilities in the uppermost part of the catchment are the major source governing Cl concentrations within the discharge basin. Dual isotopic compositions of nitrate (δ(15)NNO3 and δ(18)ONO3) indicated that NO3 in JS is attributable to nitrification of soil organic matter but that NO3 in OS is derived mostly from manure. Additionally, the contributions of potential anthropogenic sources to the two streams were estimated in more detail by using a plot of δ(34)SSO4 and δ(15)NNO3. This study suggests that the dual isotope approach for sulfate and nitrate is an excellent additional tool for elucidating the sources and processes controlling the water chemistry of streams draining watersheds having different lithologies and

  5. Integration of aquatic fate and ecological responses to linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS) in model stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Belanger, S E; Bowling, J W; Lee, D M; LeBlanc, E M; Kerr, K M; McAvoy, D C; Christman, S C; Davidson, D H

    2002-06-01

    An integrated model stream ecosystem fate and effect study of dodecyl linear alkylbenzene sulfonate (C(12)LAS) was performed in the summer and fall of 1996. The study addressed responses of periphytic microbes, immature benthic fauna including abundance, drift, and emergence of adult insects in a 56-day exposure. Exposures ranged from 126 to 2978 microg/L and were continuously presented in a single-pass, flow-through test system. Microbial heterotrophs acclimated to C(12)LAS exposure quickly (14 days) and biodegraded C(12)LAS at all concentrations. Blue-green algae responded by increasing in abundance with increasing C(12)LAS concentration. Invertebrates responded by increased drift and reduced benthic abundances at concentrations exceeding 293 microg/L. Emergence at 927 microg/L also declined relative to the control. Adverse responses for mayflies and chironomids were indicated using univariate statistical techniques. Multivariate techniques indicated these taxa plus mollusks, aquatic worms, caddisflies, and stoneflies were impaired at some concentrations. Bioavailability of C(12)LAS was investigated in streams as a function of the total suspended solid load in the water column driven by local weather and watershed patterns. A continuous bioavailability model indicated exposure was reduced by an average of 8.5+/-8.9%. A model ecosystem no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) was concluded to be 293 microg/L based on measured water column exposure and adjusted to 268 microg/L by the bioavailability model. A literature review of 13 available model ecosystem studies was conducted and NOEC conclusions were adjusted by a structure-activity relationship to a dodecyl chain length (sulfophenyl position and distribution being ignored due to lack of information in the reviewed studies). Lentic studies (n=7) were found to have higher NOECs than lotic studies (n=6) and were more variable. Mean NOECs+/-SD for all studies, lentic studies only, and lotic studies only were 3320

  6. Response of stream invertebrates to a global-warming thermal regime: An ecosystem-level manipulation

    SciTech Connect

    Hogg, I.D.; Williams, D.D.

    1996-03-01

    We manipulated, in accord with global-warming predictions, the thermal regime of a permanent first-order stream near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We examined the effects of a 2-3.5{degrees}C water-temperature increase on densities, biomass, species composition, and life histories of resident stream invertebrates. The stream was divided longitudinally at the source into two channels, one control and one experimental, and a before and after (BACI) design was employed such that one pre-manipulation year was followed by 2 yr of the temperature manipulation. Changes in the experimental channel following commencement of the manipulation included: (1) decreased total animal densities, particularly Chironomidae (Diptera); (2) earlier onset of adult insect emergence; (3) increased growth rates and precocious breeding in Hyallella azteca (Amphipoda); (4) smaller size at maturity for Nemoura trispinosa (Plecoptera) and H., azteca and (5) altered sex ratios for Lepidostoma vernale (Trichoptera). These results partially corroborate previous laboratory and field studies. However, variation in the responses of individual target species to the manipulation was unexpected and may have been influenced by the genetic structure of local populations. We conclude that levels of gene flow among habitats may be critical to the degree of impact seen as a result of large-scale thermal perturbation (e.g., global warming). 60 refs., 13 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Magnetic Characterization of Stream-Sediments From Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, Affected by Pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaparro, M. A.; Sinito, A. M.; Bidegain, J. C.; Gogorza, C. S.; Jurado, S.

    2001-12-01

    A wide urban area from Northeast of Buenos Aires Province is exposed to an important anthropogenic influence, mainly due to industrial activity. In this two water streams were chosen: one of them (Del Gato stream, G) next to La Plata City and the another one (El Pescado stream, P) on the outskirts of the city. Both streams have similar characteristics, although the first one (G) has a higher input of pollutants (fluvial effluents, fly ashes, solid wastes, etc.) than the last one (P). Sediments analyzed in this work are limes from continental origin of PostPampeano (Holocene). Although, some cores were affected by sandy-limy sediments with mollusc valves from Querandino Sea (Pleistocene - later Holocene) and limy sediments of chestnut color with calcareous concretions from the Ensenadense. Magnetic measurements and geochemical studies were carried out on the samples. Among the magnetic parameters, specific susceptibility (X), X frequency-dependence (Xfd%), X temperature-dependence, Natural Remanent Magnetization (NRM), Isothermal Remanent Magnetization (IRM), Saturation IRM (SIRM), coercivity of remanence (Bcr), S ratio and SIRM/X ratio, Anhysteric Remanent Magnetization (ARM), Magnetic and Thermal Demagnetization were studied. The magnetic characteristics for both sites indicate the predominance of magnetically soft minerals on G site and relatively hard minerals on P site. Magnetite is the main magnetic carrier, Pseudo Single Domain and Single Domain grains were found. Chemical studies show (in some cases) a high concentration for some heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni and Fe) on the upper 22-cm. Contents of heavy metals and ARM were correlated. Very good correlation (R> 0.81) is found for Cu, Zn, Ni, Fe and the sum (of Pb, Cu, Zn and Ni), and a weaker correlation for Pb.

  8. Trophic Tangles through Time? Opposing Direct and Indirect Effects of an Invasive Omnivore on Stream Ecosystem Processes

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Jonathan W.; Carlson, Stephanie M.; Twardochleb, Laura A.; Hwan, Jason L.; Fox, Justin M.; Hayes, Sean A.

    2012-01-01

    Omnivores can impact ecosystems via opposing direct or indirect effects. For example, omnivores that feed on herbivores and plants could either increase plant biomass due to the removal of herbivores or decrease plant biomass due to direct consumption. Thus, empirical quantification of the relative importance of direct and indirect impacts of omnivores is needed, especially the impacts of invasive omnivores. Here we investigated how an invasive omnivore (signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus) impacts stream ecosystems. First, we performed a large-scale experiment to examine the short-term (three month) direct and indirect impacts of crayfish on a stream food web. Second, we performed a comparative study of un-invaded areas and areas invaded 90 years ago to examine whether patterns from the experiment scaled up to longer time frames. In the experiment, crayfish increased leaf litter breakdown rate, decreased the abundance and biomass of other benthic invertebrates, and increased algal production. Thus, crayfish controlled detritus via direct consumption and likely drove a trophic cascade through predation on grazers. Consistent with the experiment, the comparative study also found that benthic invertebrate biomass decreased with crayfish. However, contrary to the experiment, crayfish presence was not significantly associated with higher leaf litter breakdown in the comparative study. We posit that during invasion, generalist crayfish replace the more specialized native detritivores (caddisflies), thereby leading to little long-term change in net detrital breakdown. A feeding experiment revealed that these native detritivores and the crayfish were both effective consumers of detritus. Thus, the impacts of omnivores represent a temporally-shifting interplay between direct and indirect effects that can control basal resources. PMID:23209810

  9. Trophic tangles through time? Opposing direct and indirect effects of an invasive omnivore on stream ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Moore, Jonathan W; Carlson, Stephanie M; Twardochleb, Laura A; Hwan, Jason L; Fox, Justin M; Hayes, Sean A

    2012-01-01

    Omnivores can impact ecosystems via opposing direct or indirect effects. For example, omnivores that feed on herbivores and plants could either increase plant biomass due to the removal of herbivores or decrease plant biomass due to direct consumption. Thus, empirical quantification of the relative importance of direct and indirect impacts of omnivores is needed, especially the impacts of invasive omnivores. Here we investigated how an invasive omnivore (signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus) impacts stream ecosystems. First, we performed a large-scale experiment to examine the short-term (three month) direct and indirect impacts of crayfish on a stream food web. Second, we performed a comparative study of un-invaded areas and areas invaded 90 years ago to examine whether patterns from the experiment scaled up to longer time frames. In the experiment, crayfish increased leaf litter breakdown rate, decreased the abundance and biomass of other benthic invertebrates, and increased algal production. Thus, crayfish controlled detritus via direct consumption and likely drove a trophic cascade through predation on grazers. Consistent with the experiment, the comparative study also found that benthic invertebrate biomass decreased with crayfish. However, contrary to the experiment, crayfish presence was not significantly associated with higher leaf litter breakdown in the comparative study. We posit that during invasion, generalist crayfish replace the more specialized native detritivores (caddisflies), thereby leading to little long-term change in net detrital breakdown. A feeding experiment revealed that these native detritivores and the crayfish were both effective consumers of detritus. Thus, the impacts of omnivores represent a temporally-shifting interplay between direct and indirect effects that can control basal resources.

  10. Groundwater and stream threshold values for targeted and differentiated output based regulation of nutrient loadings to ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinsby, Klaus; Refsgaard, Jens Christian

    2015-04-01

    Currently more than 50 % of the European surface water bodies do not meet the objective of good ecological status primarily due to excessive nutrient loadings (mainly N and P) according to recent assessments, and there is a strong need to reduce nutrient loadings to freshwater as well as marine ecosystems. This has been recognized for decades and measures and regulations in many EU member states have been able to reduce the nutrient loadings to e.g. lakes and coastal waters significantly. However, recent assessments also demonstrate that the nutrient loadings to many aquatic ecosystems are still too high. A well known example is the Baltic Sea where the BONUS program has invested significant funds in understanding and reducing nutrient loadings to the Baltic Sea, which is currently considered one of the most polluted seas, globally, and which as a consequence has the largest dead sea-floor area presently known because of eutrophication and oxygen depletion partly due to high nutrient loadings. Hence, further reduction of nutrient loadings to the Baltic Sea is required to improve the ecological status of the Baltic Sea. The new "Soils2Sea" project ("Reducing nutrient loadings from agricultural soils to the Baltic Sea via groundwater and streams") in the BONUS program for the Baltic Sea, seeks to develop new measures and management techniques that can reduce nutrient loadings to the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea to levels ensuring a future good ecological status of this ecosystem. The Soils2Sea project investigates and assesses nutrient loadings from hillslope/field and sub-catchment scale to the scale of the whole Baltic Sea catchment and focus on development on differentiated regulations and land use that take into account reduction and retention of nitrate in groundwater and surface water systems. We suggest that an important management and governance tool would be to derive groundwater and stream threshold values at both river basin, sub-catchment and perhaps

  11. Does consideration of water routing affect simulated water and carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, G.; Schneiderman, E. M.; Band, L. E.; Hwang, T.; Pierson, D. C.; Pradhanang, S. M.; Zion, M. S.

    2013-10-01

    The cycling of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems is closely coupled with the cycling of water. An important mechanism connecting ecological and hydrological processes in terrestrial ecosystems is lateral flow of water along landscapes. Few studies, however, have examined explicitly how consideration of water routing affects simulated water and carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems. The objective of this study is to explore how consideration of water routing in a process-based hydroecological model affects simulated water and carbon dynamics. To achieve that end, we rasterized the regional hydroecological simulation systems (RHESSys) and employed the rasterized RHESSys (R-RHESSys) in a forested watershed. We performed and compared two contrasting simulations, one with and another without water routing. We found that R-RHESSys is able to correctly simulate major hydrological and ecological variables regardless of whether water routing is considered. When water routing was neglected, however, soil water table depth and saturation deficit were simulated to be smaller and spatially more homogeneous. As a result, evaporation, forest productivity and soil heterotrophic respiration also were simulated to be spatially more homogeneous compared to simulation with water routing. When averaged for the entire watershed, however, differences in simulated water and carbon fluxes are not significant between the two simulations. Overall, the study demonstrated that consideration of water routing enabled R-RHESSys to better capture our preconception of the spatial patterns of water table depth and saturation deficit across the watershed. Because the spatial pattern of soil moisture is fundamental to water efflux from land to the atmosphere, forest productivity and soil microbial activity, ecosystem and carbon cycle models, therefore, need to explicitly represent water routing in order to accurately quantify the magnitudes and patterns of water and carbon fluxes in terrestrial

  12. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J; Wright, Justin R; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E; Grube, Alyssa M; Peterson, Mark P; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U; Hazen, Terry C; Grant, Christopher J; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems.

  13. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J.; Wright, Justin R.; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E.; Grube, Alyssa M.; Peterson, Mark P.; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Grant, Christopher J.; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA− sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  14. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J; Wright, Justin R; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E; Grube, Alyssa M; Peterson, Mark P; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U; Hazen, Terry C; Grant, Christopher J; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  15. Stable nitrogen isotopic composition of amino acids reveals food web structure in stream ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, Naoto F; Kato, Yoshikazu; Togashi, Hiroyuki; Yoshimura, Mayumi; Yoshimizu, Chikage; Okuda, Noboru; Tayasu, Ichiro

    2014-07-01

    The stable N isotopic composition of individual amino acids (SIAA) has recently been used to estimate trophic positions (TPs) of animals in several simple food chain systems. However, it is unknown whether the SIAA is applicable to more complex food web analysis. In this study we measured the SIAA of stream macroinvertebrates, fishes, and their potential food sources (periphyton and leaf litter of terrestrial C3 plants) collected from upper and lower sites in two streams having contrasting riparian landscapes. The stable N isotope ratios of glutamic acid and phenylalanine confirmed that for primary producers (periphyton and C3 litter) the TP was 1, and for primary consumers (e.g., mayfly and caddisfly larvae) it was 2. We built a two-source mixing model to estimate the relative contributions of aquatic and terrestrial sources to secondary and higher consumers (e.g., stonefly larva and fishes) prior to the TP calculation. The estimated TPs (2.3-3.5) roughly corresponded to their omnivorous and carnivorous feeding habits, respectively. We found that the SIAA method offers substantial advantages over traditional bulk method for food web analysis because it defines the food web structure based on the metabolic pathway of amino groups, and can be used to estimate food web structure under conditions where the bulk method cannot be used. Our result provides evidence that the SIAA method is applicable to the analysis of complex food webs, where heterogeneous resources are mixed. PMID:24719209

  16. Resilience as a Component of Ecological Health: Lessons From Stream Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Latimore, J. A.; Hayes, D. B.

    2005-05-01

    Ecological health may be described as a product of system function, structure, and resilience to disturbance. Measures of ecological function, including abundance, productivity, and biomass, are relatively simple to obtain in the field, as are measures of structure, such as species richness and diversity. However, determination of resilience is less than straightforward because of its dependence on the nature of the disturbance and on the choice of endpoints for recovery. We experimentally investigated the recovery process in temperate warmwater stream fish assemblages subject to controlled biotic disturbance. We measured resilience in a number of ways, including level of and time to recovery of assemblage density, richness, and structure. While there was no relationship between the pre-disturbance structure of the fish assemblage and its resilience to disturbance, certain functional and habitat attributes appeared to encourage recovery. We formed a conceptual model of resilience by combining our results with published studies of disturbance in streams. We suggest that an understanding of the recovery process has relevance to theoretical investigations of system structure and function as well as predictive utility for the management of disturbed systems, and therefore warrants further research.

  17. INTERIM RESULTS FROM A STUDY OF THE IMPACTS OF TIN(II) BASED MERCURY TREATMENT IN A SMALL STREAM ECOSYSTEM: TIMS BRANCH, SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B.; Bryan, L.; Mathews, T.

    2012-03-30

    control measures have resulted in rapid responses in lake or reservoir fisheries (Joslin 1994, Turner and Southworth 1999; Orihel et al., 2007), but examples of similar responses in Hg-contaminated stream ecosystems are less common. Recent work suggests that stream systems may actually be more susceptible to mercury bioaccumulation than lakes, highlighting the need to better understand the ecological drivers of mercury bioaccumulation in stream-dwelling fish (Chasar et al. 2009, Ward et al. 2010). In the present study we examine the response of fish to remedial actions in Tims Branch, a point-source contaminated stream on the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. This second order stream received inorganic mercury inputs at its headwaters from the 1950s-2000s which contaminated the water, sediments, and biota downstream. In 2007, an innovative mercury removal system using tin (II) chloride (stannous chloride, SnCl{sub 2}) was implemented at a pre-existing air stripper. Tin(II) reduces dissolved Hg (II) to Hg (0), which is removed by the air stripper. During this process, tin(II) is oxidized to tin (IV) which is expected to precipitate as colloidal tin(IV) oxides and hydroxides, particulate materials with relatively low toxicity (Hallas and Cooney, 1981, EPA 2002, ATSDR, 2005). The objectives of the present research are to provide an initial assessment of the net impacts of the tin(II) based mercury treatment on key biota and to document the distribution and fate of inorganic tin in this small stream ecosystem after the first several years of operating a full scale system. To support these objectives, we collected fish, sediment, water, invertebrates, and biofilm samples from Tims Branch to quantify the general behavior and accumulation patterns for mercury and tin in the ecosystem and to determine if the treatment process has resulted in: (1) a measurable beneficial impact on (i.e., decrease of) mercury concentration in upper trophic

  18. Loss of Rare Fish Species from Tropical Floodplain Food Webs Affects Community Structure and Ecosystem Multifunctionality in a Mesocosm Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Pendleton, Richard M.; Hoeinghaus, David J.; Gomes, Luiz C.; Agostinho, Angelo A.

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  19. Loss of rare fish species from tropical floodplain food webs affects community structure and ecosystem multifunctionality in a mesocosm experiment.

    PubMed

    Pendleton, Richard M; Hoeinghaus, David J; Gomes, Luiz C; Agostinho, Angelo A

    2014-01-01

    Experiments with realistic scenarios of species loss from multitrophic ecosystems may improve insight into how biodiversity affects ecosystem functioning. Using 1000 L mesocoms, we examined effects of nonrandom species loss on community structure and ecosystem functioning of experimental food webs based on multitrophic tropical floodplain lagoon ecosystems. Realistic biodiversity scenarios were developed based on long-term field surveys, and experimental assemblages replicated sequential loss of rare species which occurred across all trophic levels of these complex food webs. Response variables represented multiple components of ecosystem functioning, including nutrient cycling, primary and secondary production, organic matter accumulation and whole ecosystem metabolism. Species richness significantly affected ecosystem function, even after statistically controlling for potentially confounding factors such as total biomass and direct trophic interactions. Overall, loss of rare species was generally associated with lower nutrient concentrations, phytoplankton and zooplankton densities, and whole ecosystem metabolism when compared with more diverse assemblages. This pattern was also observed for overall ecosystem multifunctionality, a combined metric representing the ability of an ecosystem to simultaneously maintain multiple functions. One key exception was attributed to time-dependent effects of intraguild predation, which initially increased values for most ecosystem response variables, but resulted in decreases over time likely due to reduced nutrient remineralization by surviving predators. At the same time, loss of species did not result in strong trophic cascades, possibly a result of compensation and complexity of these multitrophic ecosystems along with a dominance of bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that although rare species may comprise minor components of communities, their loss can have profound ecosystem consequences across multiple trophic

  20. National and regional comparisons between Strahler order and stream size

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water body size is one of the most important factors affecting the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. The categorical variable, Strahler stream order, is frequently used as an indirect estimate of stream size. Other indirect estimates of stream size, such as catchmen...

  1. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  2. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-13

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  3. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  4. Effects of Urban Stream Burial on Organic Matter Dynamics and Reach Scale Nitrate Retention

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in streams is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of streams in stormwater pipes in urban watersheds. We predicted that stream burial suppresses the capacity of streams to retain nitrate (NO3-) by eliminating primar...

  5. The burial of headwater streams in drainage pipes reduces in-stream nitrate retention: results from two US metropolitan areas

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nitrogen (N) retention in stream networks is an important ecosystem service that may be affected by the widespread burial of headwater streams in urban watersheds. Stream burial occurs when segments of a channel are encased in drainage pipe and buried beneath the land surface to...

  6. Assessment of corn and banana leaves as potential standardized substrates for leaf decomposition in streams affected by mountaintop removal coal mining, West Virginia, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mountaintop removal and valley filling is a method of coal mining that buries Central Appalachian headwater streams. A 2007 federal court ruling highlighted the need for measurement of both ecosystem structure and function when assessing streams for mitigaton. Rapid functional as...

  7. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ or /sup 32/PO/sub 4/. Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ and /sup 32/PO/sub 4/, in which the microbiota were labeled with /sup 33/P until in isotopic equilibrium, then /sup 32/P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio /sup 32/P to /sup 33/P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream.

  8. Urbanization Affects the Extent and Hydrologic Permanence of Headwater Streams in a Midwestern US Metropolitan Area

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams dominate natural landscapes and provide essential functions for downstream waters. However, because of minimal legal protection, they often are piped or buried to accommodate urban growth. Urbanization also alters stream base flows. The combined impact of these ...

  9. Not all ski slopes are created equal: disturbance intensity affects ecosystem properties.

    PubMed

    Burt, Jennifer W; Rice, Kevin J

    2009-12-01

    In mountain regions around the world, downhill ski areas represent a significant source of anthropogenic disturbance while also providing recreation and revenue. Ski-run creation always results in some level of disturbance, but disturbance intensity varies greatly with construction method. Ski runs may be established either by clearing (cutting and removing tall vegetation) or by clearing and then machine-grading (leveling the soil surface with heavy equipment). To quantify how these different intensities of initial disturbance affect ecosystem properties, we extensively surveyed vegetation, soils, and environmental characteristics on cleared ski runs, graded ski runs, and adjacent reference forests across seven large downhill ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada, USA. We found that the greater disturbance intensity associated with grading resulted in greater impacts on all ecosystem properties considered, including plant community composition and diversity, soil characteristics relating to processes of nutrient cycling and retention, and measures of erosion potential. We also found that cleared ski runs retained many ecological similarities to reference forests and might even offer some added benefits by possessing greater plant species and functional diversity than either forests or graded runs. Because grading is more damaging to multiple indicators of ecosystem function, clearing rather than grading should be used to create ski slopes wherever practical.

  10. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Perkins, R.E.

    1985-01-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams containing leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ or /sup 32/PO/sub 4/. Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ and /sup 32/PO/sub 4/, in which the microbiota were labeled with /sup 33/P until in isotopic equilibrium, then /sup 32/P was added. The turnover rates was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio /sup 32/P to /sup 33/P. The turnover rate for the maple community was 0.319% h/sup -1/ and ranged from 0.379% h/sup -1/ to 0.577% h/sup -1/ for the intracellular components. The turnover rates for the ungrazed and graved oak microbiota were 0.126% h/sup -1/ and 0.131% h/sup -1/. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results of this investigation indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream.

  11. Effects of physical and biogeochemical processes on aquatic ecosystems at the groundwater-surface water interface: An evaluation of a sulfate-impacted wild rice stream in Minnesota (USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, G. H. C.; Yourd, A. R.; Myrbo, A.; Johnson, N.

    2015-12-01

    Significant uncertainty and variability in physical and biogeochemical processes at the groundwater-surface water interface complicate how surface water chemistry affects aquatic ecosystems. Questions surrounding a unique 10 mg/L sulfate standard for wild rice (Zizania sp.) waters in Minnesota are driving research to clarify conditions controlling the geochemistry of shallow sediment porewater in stream- and lake-beds. This issue raises the need and opportunity to carry out in-depth, process-based analysis into how water fluxes and coupled C, S, and Fe redox cycles interact to impact aquatic plants. Our study builds on a recent state-wide field campaign that showed that accumulation of porewater sulfide from sulfate reduction impairs wild rice, an annual grass that grows in shallow lakes and streams in the Great Lakes region of North America. Negative porewater sulfide correlations with organic C and Fe quantities also indicated that lower redox rates and greater mineral precipitation attenuate sulfide. Here, we focus on a stream in northern Minnesota that receives high sulfate loading from iron mining activity yet maintains wild rice stands. In addition to organic C and Fe effects, we evaluate the degree to which streambed hydrology, and in particular groundwater contributions, accounts for the active biogeochemistry. We collect field measurements, spanning the surrounding groundwater system to the stream, to constrain a reactive-transport model. Observations from seepage meters, temperature probes, and monitoring wells delineate upward flow that may lessen surface water impacts below the stream. Geochemical analyses of groundwater, porewater, and surface water samples and of sediment extractions reveal distinctions among the different domains and stream banks, which appear to jointly control conditions in the streambed. A model based on field conditions can be used to evaluate the relative the importance and the spatiotemporal scales of diverse flux and

  12. Development of rapid methods for measuring stream ecosystem functions in the Appalachian coal mining region: preliminary results

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams represent the majority of U.S. stream miles. As a consequence of being abundant and widespread, the alteration and loss of headwater streams may have impacts on downstream waterbodies. These streams are frequently the subject of proposed dredge and fill projects...

  13. Elevation and stream-size thresholds affect distributions of native and exotic warmwater fishes in Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quist, M.C.; Hubert, W.A.; Rahel, F.J.

    2004-01-01

    This study was conducted to assess the influence of elevation and stream width on the occurrence of 28 native and six exotic fish species using data collected (1954-2003) from 1,114 stream reaches in Wyoming. Medians and ranges of elevation and stream width were used to assess how elevation and stream width influenced the occurrence of individual species and to indicate which species had large and small ranges of distribution. Twenty-four species were common at elevations below 1,550 m and 31 species occurred in streams less than 20 m wide. The six exotic species had the potential to overlap all of the native species with regard to both elevation and stream width. In general, species that were collected over a wide range of elevations were also collected over a wide range of stream widths. Red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) and river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio) occurred over the smallest elevation ranges ( 2,500 m). Longnose sucker and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) occurred over the greatest ranges in stream widths (> 90 m), and brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans), black bullhead (Ameiurus melas), and quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus) were found over the lowest ranges in stream widths (< 12 m). The distributions of native and exotic species in streams that transition from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains were largely explained by elevation and stream width.

  14. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets.

  15. Irrigation agriculture affects organic matter decomposition in semi-arid terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arroita, Maite; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A; Díez, Joserra; Jimenez, Juan José; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene; Navarro, Enrique; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo

    2013-12-15

    Many dryland areas are being converted into intensively managed irrigation crops, what can disrupt the hydrological regime, degrade soil and water quality, enhance siltation, erosion and bank instability, and affect biological communities. Still, the impacts of irrigation schemes on the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are poorly understood. Here we assess the effects of irrigation agriculture on breakdown of coarse organic matter in soil and water. We measured breakdown rates of alder and holm oak leaves, and of poplar sticks in terrestrial and aquatic sites following a gradient of increasing irrigation agriculture in a semi-arid Mediterranean basin transformed into irrigation agriculture in 50% of its surface. Spatial patterns of stick breakdown paralleled those of leaf breakdown. In soil, stick breakdown rates were extremely low in non-irrigated sites (0.0001-0.0003 day(-1)), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044 day(-1)). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001 day(-1), and increased with the area of the basin subject to irrigation agriculture. Results showed that irrigation agriculture affects functioning of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, accelerating decomposition of organic matter, especially in soil. These changes can have important consequences for global carbon budgets. PMID:23891536

  16. Preservation procedures for arsenic speciation in a stream affected by acid mine drainage in southwestern Spain.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Rodas, Daniel; Oliveira, Vanesa; Sarmiento, Aguasanta M; Gómez-Ariza, José Luis; Nieto, José Miguel

    2006-04-01

    A preservation study has been performed for arsenic speciation in surface freshwaters affected by acid mine drainage (AMD), a pollution source characterized by low pH and high metallic content. Two sample preservation procedures described in the literature were attempted using opaque glass containers and refrigeration: i) addition of 0.25 mol L(-1) EDTA to the samples, which maintained the stability of the arsenic species for 3 h; and ii) in situ sample clean-up with a cationic exchange resin, in order to reduce the metallic load, which resulted in a partial co-adsorption of arsenic onto Fe precipitates. A new proposed method was also tried: sample acidification with 6 mol L(-1) HCl followed by in situ clean-up with a cationic exchange resin, which allowed a longer preservation time of at least 48 h. The proposed method was successfully applied to water samples with high arsenic content, taken from the Aguas Agrias Stream (Odiel River Basin, SW Spain), which is severely affected by AMD that originates at the nearby polymetallic sulfide mine of Tharsis. The speciation results obtained by liquid chromatography-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HPLC-HG-AFS) indicated that during the summer the main arsenic species was As(V) at the hundred microg L(-1) level, followed by DMA (dimethyl arsenic) and As(III) below the ten microg L(-1) level. In winter, As(V) and As(III) increased at least fivefold, whereas the DMA was not detected.

  17. Spatiotemporal variability in stream chemistry in a high-elevation catchment affected by mine drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Annett B.; Drever, James I.

    2001-10-01

    This study examined solute dynamics on both spatial and temporal (seasonal, 24 h) scales in a high-elevation stream affected by drainage from abandoned metal mines. Peru Creek is located along the Continental Divide in the US Rocky Mountains, and the hydrologic cycle is dominated by melting of snow. Spatially, tributary inflows produced order-of-magnitude concentration changes along Peru Creek; these were due to dilution and concentration, and also to precipitation of solids. Seasonally, the concentration of most solutes increased as snowmelt diminished. Concentrations of Al, Fe, Cu and Zn, at times affected by instream processes, increased the most, by factors of 2.1-12.8. Ca, Mg, and SO 42-, which approximated conservative behavior, increased by factors of 1.7-2.2. Si, Na and K, which were unaffected by mine drainage, increased less, by factors of 1.1-1.6. Concentrations of NO 3- decreased slightly during the snowmelt season. Hydrologic, photochemical and biological processes were active on the 24 h timescale and produced daily concentration variations of up to 40%. Accurate predictions of solute concentrations, which rely on knowledge of processes that produce natural cycling, are crucial in developing models of toxicity and pollutant loading.

  18. Oceanographic and behavioural processes affecting invertebrate larval dispersal and supply in the western Iberia upwelling ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queiroga, Henrique; Cruz, Teresa; dos Santos, Antonina; Dubert, Jesus; González-Gordillo, Juan Ignácio; Paula, José; Peliz, Álvaro; Santos, A. Miguel P.

    2007-08-01

    The present review addresses recent findings made in the western Iberia ecosystem on the behavioural and physical interactions that regulate dispersal, supply to coastal habitats and settlement of invertebrate larvae. These studies used the barnacle Chthamalus spp. and the crab Carcinus maenas as model organisms. The observations made on the Iberian shelf showed extensive diel vertical migrations along the water column by representatives of both groups that have never been reported before. The interaction of the diel vertical migration with the two-layer flow structure of upwelling/downwelling circulation suggests a mechanism that may help to retain larvae in shelf waters during upwelling conditions. Measurements of daily supply of C. maenas megalopae to estuaries separated by 500 km disclosed a semilunar pattern, with highest supply around highest amplitude tides, indicating that supply of megalopae to estuaries is accomplished by selective tidal stream transport. Relaxation of equatorward winds also played a role in supply, by enhancing translocation of megalopae to the nearshore. Concerning Chthamalus larvae, the observations on daily settlement made at rocky shores also separated by 500 km showed unclear patterns between locations and years. The relationship of settlement with water temperature, tidal range and upwelling indices indicated that supply of barnacle cyprids may be controlled by multiple mechanisms, viz. upwelling/downwelling circulation, internal tidal bores and sea breezes.

  19. Realistic changes in seaweed biodiversity affect multiple ecosystem functions on a rocky shore.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Williams, Susan L

    2013-09-01

    Given current threats to biodiversity, understanding the effects of diversity changes on the functions and services associated with intact ecosystems is of paramount importance. However, limited realism in most biodiversity studies makes it difficult to link the large and growing body of evidence for important functional consequences of biodiversity change to real-world losses of biodiversity. Here, we explored two methods of incorporating realism into biodiversity research: (1) the use of two-, five-, and eight-species assemblages that mimicked those that we observed in surveys of seaweed biodiversity patterns on a northern California (USA) rocky shore and the explicit comparison of those assemblages to random assemblages compiled from the same local species pool; and (2) the measurement of two fundamental ecosystem functions, nitrate uptake and photosynthesis, both of which contribute to growth of primary producers. Specifically, we measured nitrate uptake rates of seaweed assemblages as a function of initial nitrate concentrations and photosynthetic rates as a function of irradiance levels for both realistic and random assemblages of seaweeds. We only observed changes in ecosystem functioning along a richness gradient for realistic assemblages, and both maximum nitrate uptake rates (V(max)) and photosynthetic light use efficiency values (alpha(p) = P(max)/I(K)) were higher in realistic assemblages than in random assemblages. Furthermore, the parameter affected by changes in richness depended on the function being measured. Both V(max) and alpha(p) declined with increasing richness in nonrandom assemblages due to a combination of species identity effects (for V(max) and overyielding effects (for both V(max) and alpha(p)). In contrast, neither nitrate uptake efficiency values (alpha(N) = V(max)/K(s)), nor maximum photosynthetic rates (Pmax) changed along the gradient in seaweed species richness. Furthermore, overyielding was only evident in realistic assemblages

  20. Identifying pathways and processes affecting nitrate and orthophosphate inputs to streams in agricultural watersheds.

    PubMed

    Tesoriero, Anthony J; Duff, John H; Wolock, David M; Spahr, Norman E; Almendinger, James E

    2009-01-01

    Understanding nutrient pathways to streams will improve nutrient management strategies and estimates of the time lag between when changes in land use practices occur and when water quality effects that result from these changes are observed. Nitrate and orthophosphate (OP) concentrations in several environmental compartments were examined in watersheds having a range of base flow index (BFI) values across the continental United States to determine the dominant pathways for water and nutrient inputs to streams. Estimates of the proportion of stream nitrate that was derived from groundwater increased as BFI increased. Nitrate concentration gradients between groundwater and surface water further supported the groundwater source of nitrate in these high BFI streams. However, nitrate concentrations in stream-bed pore water in all settings were typically lower than stream or upland groundwater concentrations, suggesting that nitrate discharge to streams was not uniform through the bed. Rather, preferential pathways (e.g., springs, seeps) may allow high nitrate groundwater to bypass sites of high biogeochemical transformation. Rapid pathway compartments (e.g., overland flow, tile drains) had OP concentrations that were typically higher than in streams and were important OP conveyers in most of these watersheds. In contrast to nitrate, the proportion of stream OP that is derived from ground water did not systematically increase as BFI increased. While typically not the dominant source of OP, groundwater discharge was an important pathway of OP transport to streams when BFI values were very high and when geochemical conditions favored OP mobility in groundwater.

  1. Determining place and process: functional traits of ectomycorrhizal fungi that affect both community structure and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Koide, Roger T; Fernandez, Christopher; Malcolm, Glenna

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing interest amongst community ecologists in functional traits. Response traits determine membership in communities. Effect traits influence ecosystem function. One goal of community ecology is to predict the effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Environmental change can directly and indirectly affect ecosystem function. Indirect effects are mediated through shifts in community structure. It is difficult to predict how environmental change will affect ecosystem function via the indirect route when the change in effect trait distribution is not predictable from the change in response trait distribution. When response traits function as effect traits, however, it becomes possible to predict the indirect effect of environmental change on ecosystem function. Here we illustrate four examples in which key attributes of ectomycorrhizal fungi function as both response and effect traits. While plant ecologists have discussed response and effect traits in the context of community structuring and ecosystem function, this approach has not been applied to ectomycorrhizal fungi. This is unfortunate because of the large effects of ectomycorrhizal fungi on ecosystem function. We hope to stimulate further research in this area in the hope of better predicting the ecosystem- and landscape-level effects of the fungi as influenced by changing environmental conditions.

  2. Investigating the Copper Isotope Composition of Red Mountain Creek: a Stream Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimball, B. E.; Mathur, R.; Brantley, S. L.; Vervoort, J. D.

    2005-12-01

    Understanding the sources of metals and the processes that affect their transport in watersheds affected by acid mine drainage (AMD) is central to improving stream water quality. Using a new technique to address an old problem, we measured the 65Cu/63Cu ratios in filtered (pore size = 0.45μm or 0.22μm) and unfiltered samples of AMD-impacted streamwater collected during low-flow conditions from Red Mountain Creek near Silverton, Colorado. Red Mountain Creek is a small mountain stream receiving metal-rich, acidic drainage from acid-sulfate and quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration zones within dacitic-andesitic lavas and volcaniclastic sediments. We measured δ65Cu values [where δ65Cu = ((65Cu/63Cusample/65Cu/63Custandard) - 1) × 103] on a multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer; instrumental mass bias was corrected by doping with the Johnson-Mattey Zn solution and bracketing with the NIST976 standard. All samples are enriched in 65Cu, with δ65Cu values ranging from 1.03 ± 0.10‰ to 3.76 ± 0.10‰ (2σ). Higher values correspond to an inflow emanating from a mineshaft that shows the highest Cu concentration (10.4 mg/L). As Cu becomes less concentrated downstream, the δ65Cu values generally decrease. At two of the three sample locations, the filtered samples are more enriched in 65Cu than the unfiltered samples, which contain suspended precipitates. These results are consistent with previous batch-leach experiments showing that during dissolution of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and chalcocite (Cu2S) (with and without Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans), Cu released into solution by leaching was enriched in 65Cu and Cu precipitates were depleted relative to the starting sulfide minerals. This fractionation may indicate that biotic (e.g., microbial metabolism) and/or abiotic processes (e.g., metal sorption and mineral precipitation) induce isotope effects during Cu partitioning. Future measurements of 65Cu/63Cu ratios in primary Cu-sulfide minerals and

  3. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective.

  4. Revealing how species loss affects ecosystem function: the trait-based Price Equation partition.

    PubMed

    Fox, Jeremy W; Harpole, W Stanley

    2008-01-01

    Species loss can alter ecosystem function. Recent work proposes a general theoretical framework, the "Price Equation partition," for understanding how species loss affects ecosystem functions that comprise the summed contributions of individual species (e.g., primary production). The Price Equation partition shows how the difference in function between a pre-species-loss site and a post-loss site can be partitioned into effects of random loss of species richness (species-richness effect; SRE), nonrandom loss of high- or low-functioning species (species-composition effect; SCE), and post-loss changes in the functional contributions of the remaining species (context-dependence effect; CDE). However, the Price Equation partition is silent on the underlying determinants of species' functional contributions. Here we extend the Price Equation partition by using multiple regression to describe how species' functional contributions depend on species' traits. This allows us to reexpress the SCE and CDE in terms of nonrandom loss of species with particular traits (trait-based SCE), and post-loss changes in species' traits and in the relationship between species' traits and species' functional contributions (trait-based CDE). We apply this new trait-based Price Equation partition to studies of species loss from grassland plant communities and protist microcosm food webs. In both studies, post-loss changes in the relationship between species' traits and their functional contributions alter ecosystem function more than nonrandom loss of species with particular traits. The protist microcosm data also illustrate how the trait-based Price Equation partition can be applied when species' functional contributions depend in part on the traits of other species. To do this, we define "synecological" traits that quantify how unique species are (e.g., in diet) compared to other species. Context dependence in the protist microcosm experiment arises in part because species loss alters the

  5. Ecosystem structure, function, and composition in rangelands are negatively affected by livestock grazing.

    PubMed

    Eldridge, David J; Poore, Alistair G B; Ruiz-Colmenero, Marta; Letnic, Mike; Soliveres, Santiago

    2016-06-01

    Reports of positive or neutral effects of grazing on plant species richness have prompted calls for livestock grazing to be used as a tool for managing land for conservation. Grazing effects, however, are likely to vary among different response variables, types, and intensity of grazing, and across abiotic conditions. We aimed to examine how grazing affects ecosystem structure, function, and composition. We compiled a database of 7615 records reporting an effect of grazing by sheep and cattle on 278 biotic and abiotic response variables for published studies across Australia. Using these data, we derived three ecosystem measures based on structure, function, and composition, which were compared against six contrasts of grazing pressure, ranging from low to heavy, two different herbivores (sheep, cattle), and across three different climatic zones. Grazing reduced structure (by 35%), function (24%), and composition (10%). Structure and function (but not composition) declined more when grazed by sheep and cattle together than sheep alone. Grazing reduced plant biomass (40%), animal richness (15%), and plant and animal abundance, and plant and litter cover (25%), but had no effect on plant richness nor soil function. The negative effects of grazing on plant biomass, plant cover, and soil function were more pronounced in drier environments. Grazing effects on plant and animal richness and composition were constant, or even declined, with increasing aridity. Our study represents a comprehensive continental assessment of the implications of grazing for managing Australian rangelands. Grazing effects were largely negative, even at very low levels of grazing. Overall, our results suggest that livestock grazing in Australia is unlikely to produce positive outcomes for ecosystem structure, function, and composition or even as a blanket conservation tool unless reduction in specific response variables is an explicit management objective. PMID:27509764

  6. Application of a coupled ecosystem-chemical equilibrium model, DayCent-Chem, to stream and soil chemistry in a Rocky Mountain watershed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartman, M.D.; Baron, J.S.; Ojima, D.S.

    2007-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen species have the potential to acidify terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, but nitrate and ammonium are also critical nutrients for plant and microbial productivity. Both the ecological response and the hydrochemical response to atmospheric deposition are of interest to regulatory and land management agencies. We developed a non-spatial biogeochemical model to simulate soil and surface water chemistry by linking the daily version of the CENTURY ecosystem model (DayCent) with a low temperature aqueous geochemical model, PHREEQC. The coupled model, DayCent-Chem, simulates the daily dynamics of plant production, soil organic matter, cation exchange, mineral weathering, elution, stream discharge, and solute concentrations in soil water and stream flow. By aerially weighting the contributions of separate bedrock/talus and tundra simulations, the model was able to replicate the measured seasonal and annual stream chemistry for most solutes for Andrews Creek in Loch Vale watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park. Simulated soil chemistry, net primary production, live biomass, and soil organic matter for forest and tundra matched well with measurements. This model is appropriate for accurately describing ecosystem and surface water chemical response to atmospheric deposition and climate change. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  8. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  9. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zaller, Johann G; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-09

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  10. Evaluation of Metal Toxicity in Streams Affected by Abandoned Mine Lands, Upper Animas River Watershed, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Allert, Ann L.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; May, Thomas W.; Wang, Ning; Leib, Kenneth J.

    2001-01-01

    Acid drainage from abandoned mines and from naturally-acidic rocks and soil in the upper Animas River watershed of Colorado generates elevated concentrations of acidity and dissolved metals in stream waters and deposition of metal-contaminated particulates in streambed sediments, resulting in both toxicity and habitat degradation for stream biota. High concentrations of iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) occur in acid streams draining headwaters of the upper Animas River watershed, and high concentrations of some metals, especially Zn, persist in circumneutral reaches of the Animas River and Mineral Creek, downstream of mixing zones of acid tributaries. Seasonal variation of metal concentrations is reflected in variation in toxicity of stream water. Loadings of dissolved metals to the upper Animas River and tributaries are greatest during summer, during periods of high stream discharge from snowmelt and monsoonal rains, but adverse effects on stream biota may be greater during winter low-flow periods, when stream flows are dominated by inputs of groundwater and contain greatest concentrations of dissolved metals. Fine stream-bed sediments of the upper Animas River watershed also contain elevated concentrations of potentially toxic metals. Greatest sediment metal concentrations occur in the Animas River upstream from Silverton, where there are extensive deposits of mine and mill tailings, and in mixing zones in the Animas River and lower Mineral Creek, where precipitates of Fe and Al oxides also contain high concentrations of other metals. This report summarizes the findings of a series of toxicity studies in streams of the upper Animas River watershed, conducted on-site and in the laboratory between 1998 and 2000. The objectives of these studies were: (1) to determine the relative toxicity of stream water and fine stream-bed sediments to fish and invertebrates; (2) to determine the seasonal range of toxicity in stream

  11. 75 years after mining ends stream insect diversity is still affected by heavy metals.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, Hugh; Vancura, James; Lider, Edward L

    2010-11-01

    A century of heavy metal mining in the western United States has left a legacy of abandoned mines. While large operations have left a visible reminder, smaller one and two-man operations have been overgrown and largely forgotten. We revisited an area of northern Idaho that has not had active mining since at least 1932 and probably since 1910. At three sites along each of 10 mountain streams we sampled larval stream insects and correlated their community diversity to stream levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, zinc, pH, temperature, oxygen content, and conductivity. Although the streams appear pristine, multivariate statistics indicated that cadmium and zinc levels were significantly correlated with fewer animals, fewer families, a smaller percentage of plecopterans (stoneflies), and lower Shannon H diversity values. After at least 75 years, abandoned mines appear to be still influencing stream communities. PMID:20680454

  12. Occurrence of perchloroethylene in surface water and fish in a river ecosystem affected by groundwater contamination.

    PubMed

    Wittlingerová, Zdena; Macháčková, Jiřina; Petruželková, Anna; Zimová, Magdalena

    2016-03-01

    Long-term monitoring of the content of perchloroethylene (PCE) in a river ecosystem affected by groundwater contamination was performed at a site in the Czech Republic. The quality of surface water was monitored quarterly between 1994 and 2013, and fish were collected from the affected ecosystem to analyse the content of PCE in their tissue in 1998, 2011 and 2012. Concentrations of PCE (9-140 μg/kg) in the tissue of fish collected from the contaminated part of the river were elevated compared to the part of the river unaffected by the contamination (ND to 5 μg/kg PCE). The quality of surface water has improved as a result of groundwater remediation during the evaluated period. Before the remedial action, PCE concentrations ranged from 30 to 95 μg/L (1994-1997). Following commencement of remedial activities in September 1997, a decrease in the content of PCE in the surface water to 7.3 μg/L (1998) and further to 1 μg/L (2011) and 1.1 μg/L (2012) led to a progressive decrease in the average concentration of PCE in the fish muscle tissue from 79 μg/kg (1998) to 24 (2011) and 30 μg/kg (2012), respectively. It was determined that the bioconcentration of PCE does not have a linear dependence because the decrease in contamination in the fish muscle tissue is not directly proportional to the decrease in contamination in the river water. The observed average bioconcentration factors were 24 and 28 for the lower concentrations of PCE and 11 for the higher concentrations of PCE in the river. In terms of age, length and weight of the collected fish, weight had the greatest significance for bioconcentration, followed by the length, with age being evaluated as a less significant factor.

  13. Identifying pathways and processes affecting nitrate and orthophosphate inputs to streams in agricultural watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tesoriero, A.J.; Duff, J.H.; Wolock, D.M.; Spahr, N.E.; Almendinger, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding nutrient pathways to streams will improve nutrient management strategies and estimates of the time lag between when changes in land use practices occur and when water quality effects that result from these changes are observed. Nitrate and orthophosphate (OP) concentrations in several environmental compartments were examined in watersheds having a range of base flow index (BFI) values across the continental United States to determine the dominant pathways for water and nutrient inputs to streams. Estimates of the proportion of stream nitrate that was derived from groundwater increased as BFI increased. Nitrate concentration gradients between groundwater and surface water further supported the groundwater source of nitrate in these high BFI streams. However, nitrate concentrations in stream-bed pore water in all settings were typically lower than stream or upland groundwater concentrations, suggesting that nitrate discharge to streams was not uniform through the bed. Rather, preferential pathways (e.g., springs, seeps) may allow high nitrate groundwater to bypass sites of high biogeochemical transformation. Rapid pathway compartments (e.g., overland flow, tile drains) had OP concentrations that were typically higher than in streams and were important OP conveyers in most of these watersheds. In contrast to nitrate, the proportion of stream OP that is derived from ground water did not systematically increase as BFI increased. While typically not the dominant source of OP, groundwater discharge was an important pathway of OP transport to streams when BFI values were very high and when geochemical conditions favored OP mobility in groundwater. Copyright ?? 2009 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

  14. Can plant phloem properties affect the link between ecosystem assimilation and respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mencuccini, M.; Hölttä, T.; Sevanto, S.; Nikinmaa, E.

    2012-04-01

    Phloem transport of carbohydrates in plants under field conditions is currently not well understood. This is largely the result of the lack of techniques suitable for measuring phloem physiological properties continuously under field conditions. This lack of knowledge is currently hampering our efforts to link ecosystem-level processes of carbon fixation, allocation and use, especially belowground. On theoretical grounds, the properties of the transport pathway from canopy to roots must be important in affecting the link between carbon assimilation and respiration, but it is unclear whether their effect is partially or entirely masked by processes occurring in other parts of the ecosystem. One can also predict the characteristic time scales over which these effects should occur and, as consequence, predict whether the transfer of turgor and osmotic signals from the site of carbon assimilation to the sites of carbon use are likely to control respiration. We will present two sources of evidence suggesting that the properties of the phloem transport system may affect processes that are dependent on the supply of carbon substrate, such as root or soil respiration. Firstly, we will summarize the results of a literature survey on soil and ecosystem respiration where the speed of transfer of photosynthetic sugars from the plant canopy to the soil surface was determined. Estimates of the transfer speed could be grouped according to whether the study employed isotopic or canopy soil flux-based techniques. These two groups provided very different estimates of transfer times likely because transport of sucrose molecules, and pressure-concentration waves, in phloem differed. Secondly, we will argue that simultaneous measurements of bark and xylem diameters provide a novel tool to determine the continuous variations of phloem turgor in vivo in the field. We will present a model that interprets these changes in xylem and live bark diameters and present data testing the model

  15. Multiple scales of temporal variability in ecosystem metabolism rates: results from two years of continuous monitoring in a forested headwater stream

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, Brian J; Mulholland, Patrick J; Hill, Walter

    2007-01-01

    Headwater streams are key sites of nutrient and organic matter processing and retention, but little is known about temporal variability in gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) rates as a result of the short duration of most ecosystem metabolism measurements in lotic ecosystems. We examined temporal variability and controls on ecosystem metabolism by measuring daily rates continuously for two years in Walker Branch, a first-order deciduous forest stream. Four important scales of temporal variability in ecosystem metabolism rates were identified: (1) seasonal, (2) day-to-day, (3) episodic (storm-related), and (4) inter-annual. Seasonal patterns were largely controlled by the leaf phenology and productivity of the deciduous riparian forest. Walker Branch was strongly net heterotrophic throughout the year with the exception of the open-canopy spring when GPP and ER rates were similar. Day-to-day variability in weather conditions influenced light reaching the streambed, resulting in high day-to-day variability in GPP particularly during spring (daily light levels explained 84% of the variance in daily GPP in April). Episodic storms depressed GPP for several days in spring, but increased GPP in autumn by removing leaves shading the streambed. Storms depressed ER initially, but then stimulated ER to 2-3 times pre-storm levels for several days. Walker Branch was strongly net heterotrophic in both years of the study (NEP = -1156 and -773 g O2 m-2 y-1), with annual GPP being similar (488 and 519 g O2 m-2 y-1) but annual ER being higher in 2004 than 2005 (-1645 vs. -1292 g O2 m-2 y-1). Inter-annual variability in ecosystem metabolism (assessed by comparing 2004 and 2005 rates with previous measurements) was the result of the storm frequency and timing and the size of the spring macroalgal bloom. Changes in local climate can have substantial impacts on stream ecosystem metabolism rates and ultimately influence the carbon source and sink properties of

  16. Factors Affecting Stream Nutrient Loads: A Synthesis of Regional SPARROW Model Results for the Continental United States1

    PubMed Central

    Preston, Stephen D; Alexander, Richard B; Schwarz, Gregory E; Crawford, Charles G

    2011-01-01

    Abstract We compared the results of 12 recently calibrated regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models covering most of the continental United States to evaluate the consistency and regional differences in factors affecting stream nutrient loads. The models – 6 for total nitrogen and 6 for total phosphorus – all provide similar levels of prediction accuracy, but those for major river basins in the eastern half of the country were somewhat more accurate. The models simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport. The results confirm the dominant effects of urban and agricultural sources on stream nutrient loads nationally and regionally, but reveal considerable spatial variability in the specific types of sources that control water quality. These include regional differences in the relative importance of different types of urban (municipal and industrial point vs. diffuse urban runoff) and agriculture (crop cultivation vs. animal waste) sources, as well as the effects of atmospheric deposition, mining, and background (e.g., soil phosphorus) sources on stream nutrients. Overall, we found that the SPARROW model results provide a consistent set of information for identifying the major sources and environmental factors affecting nutrient fate and transport in United States watersheds at regional and subregional scales. PMID:22457574

  17. Factors affecting stream nutrient loads: A synthesis of regional SPARROW model results for the continental United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Stephen D.; Alexander, Richard B.; Schwarz, Gregory E.; Crawford, Charles G.

    2011-01-01

    We compared the results of 12 recently calibrated regional SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regressions On Watershed attributes) models covering most of the continental United States to evaluate the consistency and regional differences in factors affecting stream nutrient loads. The models - 6 for total nitrogen and 6 for total phosphorus - all provide similar levels of prediction accuracy, but those for major river basins in the eastern half of the country were somewhat more accurate. The models simulate long-term mean annual stream nutrient loads as a function of a wide range of known sources and climatic (precipitation, temperature), landscape (e.g., soils, geology), and aquatic factors affecting nutrient fate and transport. The results confirm the dominant effects of urban and agricultural sources on stream nutrient loads nationally and regionally, but reveal considerable spatial variability in the specific types of sources that control water quality. These include regional differences in the relative importance of different types of urban (municipal and industrial point vs. diffuse urban runoff) and agriculture (crop cultivation vs. animal waste) sources, as well as the effects of atmospheric deposition, mining, and background (e.g., soil phosphorus) sources on stream nutrients. Overall, we found that the SPARROW model results provide a consistent set of information for identifying the major sources and environmental factors affecting nutrient fate and transport in United States watersheds at regional and subregional scales. ?? 2011 American Water Resources Association. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  18. Salamander occupancy in headwater stream networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Green, L.E.; Lowe, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    1. Stream ecosystems exhibit a highly consistent dendritic geometry in which linear habitat units intersect to create a hierarchical network of connected branches. 2. Ecological and life history traits of species living in streams, such as the potential for overland movement, may interact with this architecture to shape patterns of occupancy and response to disturbance. Specifically, large-scale habitat alteration that fragments stream networks and reduces connectivity may reduce the probability a stream is occupied by sensitive species, such as stream salamanders. 3. We collected habitat occupancy data on four species of stream salamanders in first-order (i.e. headwater) streams in undeveloped and urbanised regions of the eastern U.S.A. We then used an information-theoretic approach to test alternative models of salamander occupancy based on a priori predictions of the effects of network configuration, region and salamander life history. 4. Across all four species, we found that streams connected to other first-order streams had higher occupancy than those flowing directly into larger streams and rivers. For three of the four species, occupancy was lower in the urbanised region than in the undeveloped region. 5. These results demonstrate that the spatial configuration of stream networks within protected areas affects the occurrences of stream salamander species. We strongly encourage preservation of network connections between first-order streams in conservation planning and management decisions that may affect stream species.

  19. Cytoplasmic streaming affects gravity-induced amyloplast sedimentation in maize coleoptiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sack, F. D.; Leopold, A. C.

    1985-01-01

    Living maize (Zea mays L.) coleoptile cells were observed using a horizontal microscope to determine the interaction between cytoplasmic streaming and gravity-induced amyloplast sedimentation. Sedimentation is heavily influenced by streaming which may (1) hasten or slow the velocity of amyloplast movement and (2) displace the plastid laterally or even upwards before or after sedimentation. Amyloplasts may move through transvacuolar strands or through the peripheral cytoplasm which may be divided into fine cytoplasmic strands of much smaller diameter than the plastids. The results indicate that streaming may contribute to the dynamics of graviperception by influencing amyloplast movement.

  20. Macroinvertebrate communities in headwater streams affected by acidic precipitation in the central Appalachians

    SciTech Connect

    Griffith, M.B.; Perry, S.A.; Perry, W.B.

    1995-03-01

    We collected quantitative macroinvertebrate samples monthly from September 1989 to October 1990 from four streams on the Allegheny Plateau of West Virginia that were characterized by different bedrock geology and streamwater pH. Mean pH was 4.3, 6.1, and 6.0, and 7.5 in the four streams. We compared species and functional group composition of the benthic macroinvertebrate community in these streams to choose taxa that could be used as indicator species for differences in pH in bioassessment studies. The streams differed in species composition and abundance and several species were found that could be used as indicators for each of the levels of pH.

  1. Variations in heavy metal contamination of stream water and groundwater affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Choi, Jung-Chan; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2005-09-01

    This study evaluated variations in heavy metal contamination of stream waters and groundwaters affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine, where a rockfill dam for water storage will be built 11 km downstream. For these purposes, a total of 10 rounds of stream and groundwater samplings and subsequent chemical analyses were performed during 2002-2003. Results of an exploratory investigation of stream waters in 2000 indicated substantial contamination with heavy metals including zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and arsenic (As) for at least 6 km downstream from the mine. Stream waters near the mine showed metal contamination as high as arsenic (As) 8,923 microg L(-1), copper (Cu) 616 microg L(-1), cadmium (Cd) 223 microg L(-1) and lead (Pb) 10,590 microg L(-1), which greatly exceeded the Korean stream water guidelines. Remediation focused on the mine tailing piles largely improved the stream water qualities. However, there have still been quality problems for the waters containing relatively high concentrations of As (6-174 microg L(-1)), Cd (1-46 microg L(-1)) and Pb (2-26 microg L(-1)). Rainfall infiltration into the mine tailing piles resulted in an increase of heavy metals in the stream waters due to direct discharge of waste effluent, while dilution of the contaminated stream waters improved the water quality due to mixing with metal free rain waters. Levels of As, Cu and chromium (Cr) largely decreased after heavy rain but that of Pb was rather elevated. The stream waters were characterized by high concentrations of calcium (Ca) and sulfate (SO(4)), which were derived from dissolution and leaching of carbonate and sulfide minerals. It was observed that the proportions of Ca and SO(4) increased while those of bicarbonate (HCO(3)) and sodium and potassium (Na+K) decreased after a light rainfall event. Most interestingly, the reverse was generally detected for the groundwaters. The zinc, being the metal mined, was the most dominant heavy metal in the groundwaters (1758

  2. Variations in heavy metal contamination of stream water and groundwater affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Choi, Jung-Chan; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2005-09-01

    This study evaluated variations in heavy metal contamination of stream waters and groundwaters affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine, where a rockfill dam for water storage will be built 11 km downstream. For these purposes, a total of 10 rounds of stream and groundwater samplings and subsequent chemical analyses were performed during 2002-2003. Results of an exploratory investigation of stream waters in 2000 indicated substantial contamination with heavy metals including zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and arsenic (As) for at least 6 km downstream from the mine. Stream waters near the mine showed metal contamination as high as arsenic (As) 8,923 microg L(-1), copper (Cu) 616 microg L(-1), cadmium (Cd) 223 microg L(-1) and lead (Pb) 10,590 microg L(-1), which greatly exceeded the Korean stream water guidelines. Remediation focused on the mine tailing piles largely improved the stream water qualities. However, there have still been quality problems for the waters containing relatively high concentrations of As (6-174 microg L(-1)), Cd (1-46 microg L(-1)) and Pb (2-26 microg L(-1)). Rainfall infiltration into the mine tailing piles resulted in an increase of heavy metals in the stream waters due to direct discharge of waste effluent, while dilution of the contaminated stream waters improved the water quality due to mixing with metal free rain waters. Levels of As, Cu and chromium (Cr) largely decreased after heavy rain but that of Pb was rather elevated. The stream waters were characterized by high concentrations of calcium (Ca) and sulfate (SO(4)), which were derived from dissolution and leaching of carbonate and sulfide minerals. It was observed that the proportions of Ca and SO(4) increased while those of bicarbonate (HCO(3)) and sodium and potassium (Na+K) decreased after a light rainfall event. Most interestingly, the reverse was generally detected for the groundwaters. The zinc, being the metal mined, was the most dominant heavy metal in the groundwaters (1758

  3. Isotopic variations of dissolved copper and zinc in stream waters affected by historical mining

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borrok, D.M.; Nimick, D.A.; Wanty, R.B.; Ridley, W.I.

    2008-01-01

    Zinc and Cu play important roles in the biogeochemistry of natural systems, and it is likely that these interactions result in mass-dependent fractionations of their stable isotopes. In this study, we examine the relative abundances of dissolved Zn and Cu isotopes in a variety of stream waters draining six historical mining districts located in the United States and Europe. Our goals were to (1) determine whether streams from different geologic settings have unique or similar Zn and Cu isotopic signatures and (2) to determine whether Zn and Cu isotopic signatures change in response to changes in dissolved metal concentrations over well-defined diel (24-h) cycles. Average ??66Zn and ??65Cu values for streams varied from +0.02??? to +0.46??? and -0.7??? to +1.4???, respectively, demonstrating that Zn and Cu isotopes are heterogeneous among the measured streams. Zinc or Cu isotopic changes were not detected within the resolution of our measurements over diel cycles for most streams. However, diel changes in Zn isotopes were recorded in one stream where the fluctuations of dissolved Zn were the largest. We calculate an apparent separation factor of ???0.3??? (66/64Zn) between the dissolved and solid Zn reservoirs in this stream with the solid taking up the lighter Zn isotope. The preference of the lighter isotope in the solid reservoir may reflect metabolic uptake of Zn by microorganisms. Additional field investigations must evaluate the contributions of soils, rocks, minerals, and anthropogenic components to Cu and Zn isotopic fluxes in natural waters. Moreover, rigorous experimental work is necessary to quantify fractionation factors for the biogeochemical reactions that are likely to impact Cu and Zn isotopes in hydrologic systems. This initial investigation of Cu and Zn isotopes in stream waters suggests that these isotopes may be powerful tools for probing biogeochemical processes in surface waters on a variety of temporal and spatial scales.

  4. Seeing the forest for the streams: a multiscale analysis of land use change and the integrity of freshwater ecosystems in the southeastern Amazon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macedo, M. N.; Coe, M. T.; DeFries, R. S.; Uriarte, M.; Brando, P. M.; Neill, C.

    2012-12-01

    Large-scale cattle ranching and soybean production are the primary drivers of deforestation in the Amazon's agricultural frontier. These land use changes can degrade stream ecosystems by reducing hydrologic connectivity, changing the amount of light and nutrient inputs, and altering the quality and quantity of water flowing within streams. This study integrates government deforestation statistics, field data, and satellite-derived information to examine the land use transitions associated with agricultural expansion in the southeastern Amazon state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. We monitored stream temperature in 12 soybean, pasture, and forest watersheds and modeled its relationship with land management (riparian forest buffers, watershed forest cover, and impoundments) and environmental variables (precipitation, air temperature). Streams in pasture and soybean watersheds were significantly warmer than those in forested watersheds, with average daily maxima more than 4°C (16.5%) higher in pasture and 3°C (12.1%) higher in soy. Scaling up to the Xingu River Basin revealed a stream network that was increasingly dominated by agricultural land uses and highly fragmented, with nearly 10,000 impoundments in the headwaters alone. These impacts could be substantially mitigated through improved land use practices, such as the preservation and restoration of riparian areas and management of impoundments in emerging agricultural landscapes.

  5. Soil biota can change after exotic plant invasion: Does this affect ecosystem processes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, J.; Phillips, S.L.; Sherrod, S.K.; Moldenke, A.

    2005-01-01

    Invasion of the exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum into stands of the native perennial grass Hilaria jamesii significantly reduced the abundance of soil biota, especially microarthropods and nematodes. Effects of invasion on active and total bacterial and fungal biomass were variable, although populations generally increased after 50+ years of invasion. The invasion of Bromus also resulted in a decrease in richness and a species shift in plants, microarthropods, fungi, and nematodes. However, despite the depauperate soil fauna at the invaded sites, no effects were seen on cellulose decomposition rates, nitrogen mineralization rates, or vascular plant growth. When Hilaria was planted into soils from not-invaded, recently invaded, and historically invaded sites (all currently or once dominated by Hilaria), germination and survivorship were not affected. In contrast, aboveground Hilaria biomass was significantly greater in recently invaded soils than in the other two soils. We attributed the Hilaria response to differences in soil nutrients present before the invasion, especially soil nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as these nutrients were elevated in the soils that produced the greatest Hilaria biomass. Our data suggest that it is not soil biotic richness per se that determines soil process rates or plant productivity, but instead that either (1) the presence of a few critical soil food web taxa can keep ecosystem function high, (2) nutrient loss is very slow in this ecosystem, and/or (3) these processes are microbially driven. However, the presence of Bromus may reduce key soil nutrients over time and thus may eventually suppress native plant success. ?? 2005 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. How stock of origin affects performance of individuals across a meta-ecosystem: an example from sockeye salmon.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Schindler, Daniel E; Seeb, Lisa W

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  7. How Stock of Origin Affects Performance of Individuals across a Meta-Ecosystem: An Example from Sockeye Salmon

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Jennifer R.; Schindler, Daniel E.; Seeb, Lisa W.

    2013-01-01

    Connectivity among diverse habitats can buffer populations from adverse environmental conditions, influence the functioning of meta-ecosystems, and ultimately affect the reliability of ecosystem services. This stabilizing effect on populations is proposed to derive from complementarity in growth and survival conditions experienced by individuals in the different habitats that comprise meta-ecosystems. Here we use the fine scale differentiation of salmon populations between diverse lake habitats to assess how rearing habitat and stock of origin affect the body condition of juvenile sockeye salmon. We use genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms) to assign individuals of unknown origin to stock group and in turn characterize ecologically relevant attributes across habitats and stocks. Our analyses show that the body condition of juvenile salmon is related to the productivity of alternative habitats across the watershed, irrespective of their stock of origin. Emigrants and residents with genetic origins in the high productivity lake were also differentiated by their body condition, poor and high respectively. These emigrants represented a substantial proportion of juvenile sockeye salmon rearing in the lower productivity lake habitat. Despite emigrants originating from the more productive lake, they did not differ in body condition from the individuals spawned in the lower productivity, recipient habitat. Genetic tools allowed us to assess the performance of different stocks groups across the diverse habitats comprising their meta-ecosystem. The ability to characterize the ecological consequences of meta-ecosystem connectivity can help develop strategies to protect and restore ecosystems and the services they provide to humans. PMID:23505539

  8. Impacts of Stream Flow and Climate Variability on Native and Invasive Woody Species in a Riparian Ecosystem of a Semi-Arid Region of the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolaut, K.; Awada, T.; Cherubini, P.; Schapaugh, A.

    2012-12-01

    Riparian ecosystems support diverse plant communities that exert direct and indirect biological, physical and chemical influence on, and are influenced by, adjacent water through both above and below-ground interactions. Historically, riparian areas of the northern Great Plains, US have been dominated by the native Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). This species relies on regular floods for regeneration and groundwater access for success. Over the past sixty years, changes in flow management and agricultural practices, coupled with climate variability and drought have altered stream flow and caused a dramatic decline in stream water yields and levels of groundwater. These and other biotic and biotic factors have promoted the expansion of the upland native woody species Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), and the invasion of the non-native (introduced) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) into riparian ecosystems. This invasion has further altered the water balance in the system and exasperated the problem of water scarcity with negative feedback on ecosystem services and growth of native woody species. The ability of P. deltoides to re-establish and grow is of concern for natural resource managers. Tree ring analysis of annual growth rates were used to determine 1) the responses P. deltoides and invasive J. virginiana and E. angustifulia to climate variability and stream flow regulation, and 2) the impacts of the two invasive species on the growth of native P. deltoides. Results show a dependency of growth for P. deltoides on the previous year summer temperature, and a less significant correlation to annual stream flow. J. virginiana showed the highest correlation to annual stream flow, as well as some dependency on the previous growing season precipitation. While the growth of both P. deltoides and J. virginiana displayed greater dependence on climatic factors, E. angustifolia displayed the lowest mean basal area growth and deviation from the growth. E

  9. Analysis of the contamination by and effects of highway-generated heavy metals on roadside stream ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Mudre, J.M.

    1985-01-01

    This study examined the consequences of the opening and operation of a new highway north of Richmond, Virginia with respect to contamination of the aquatic environment with heavy metals (Zn, Cd, and Pb), and the effects of these metals on the biota of roadside streams. Traffic densities on the highway averaged above 12,000 vehicles per day (vpd). Significant increases in the metals concentrations of sediment, benthic invertebrates, fish whole-bodies, and fish tissues (liver, kidney, and bone) were noted over the course of the study, although the increases varied in magnitude, and were not always consistent. Sediment metals concentrations followed a dynamic plateau. Fish whole-body concentrations of Cd and Pb increased steadily over the course of the study. A number of biotic parameters were investigated to determine whether metals contamination was affecting the biological integrity of the study sites. These were: benthic macroinvertebrate diversity and density; the percentage of the aquatic insect community that was composed of chironomids; and fish community diversity, density, and biomass. Only benthos density, the percent chironomids, and fish species diversity showed changes that could that could be related to metals contamination. Indications from spot sampling along the more heavily travelled highway were that if more contamination had been experienced, more biotic parameters would have been disturbed, and to a larger extent.

  10. How wide is a stream? Spatial extent of the potential "stream signature" in terrestrial food webs using meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Muehlbauer, Jeffrey D; Collins, Scott F; Doyle, Martin W; Tockner, Klement

    2014-01-01

    The magnitude of cross-ecosystem resource subsidies is increasingly well recognized; however, less is known about the distance these subsidies travel into the recipient landscape. In streams and rivers, this distance can delimit the "biological stream width," complementary to hydro-geomorphic measures (e.g., channel banks) that have typically defined stream ecosystem boundaries. In this study we used meta-analysis to define a "stream signature" on land that relates the stream-to-land subsidy to distance. The 50% stream signature, for example, identifies the point on the landscape where subsidy resources are still at half of their maximum (in- or near-stream) level. The decay curve for these data was best fit by a negative power function in which the 50% stream signature was concentrated near stream banks (1.5 m), but a non-trivial (10%) portion of the maximum subsidy level was still found > 0.5 km from the water's edge. The meta-analysis also identified explanatory variables that affect the stream signature. This improves our understanding of ecosystem conditions that permit spatially extensive subsidy transmission, such as in highly productive, middle-order streams and rivers. Resultant multivariate models from this analysis may be useful to managers implementing buffer rules and conservation strategies for stream and riparian function, as they facilitate prediction of the extent of subsidies. Our results stress that much of the subsidy remains near the stream, but also that subsidies (and aquatic organisms) are capable of long-distance dispersal into adjacent environments, and that the effective "biological stream width" of stream and river ecosystems is often much larger than has been defined by hydro-geomorphic metrics alone. Limited data available from marine and lake sources overlap well with the stream signature data, indicating that the "signature" approach may also be applicable to subsidy spatial dynamics across other ecosystems.

  11. Municipal sludge metal contamination of old-field ecosystems: Do liming and tilling affect remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Benninger-Truax, M.; Taylor, D.H. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1993-10-01

    Mechanisms of ecosystem recovery following 11 years of sewage sludge disposal were addressed by examining the effects of tilling and/or liming on soil chemistry and the heavy metal (Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) concentrations in soil, earthworms, vegetation, spiders, and crickets. In 1989 and 1990, subplots in each of three former 0.1-ha, long-term treatments (sludge, fertilizer, and control) were either unmanipulated or manipulated via tilling and/or liming. Liming significantly increased the pH of soil from the long-term sludge and fertilizer plots, and the combination of tilling and liming affected the heavy metal concentrations in earthworms, as lower concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn were found in earthworms collected from subplots that had been both tilled and limed. However, most observed significant differences in heavy metal concentrations reflected the long-term treatments, as heavy metal concentrations tended to be greater in the soil and biota collected from sludge-treated plots. Thus, heavy metals remained in the soil in forms available to the biota, regardless of the cessation of sludge application or subplot manipulations (liming and/or tilling) for two years following cessation of sludge application.

  12. Microbial interactions affecting the natural transformation of Bacillus subtilis in a model aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Kazuaki; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Kawabata, Zen'ichiro

    2003-08-01

    The involvement of microbial interactions in natural transformation of bacteria was evaluated using an aquatic model system. For this purpose, the naturally transformable Bacillus subtilis was used as the model bacterium which was co-cultivated with the protist Tetrahymena thermophila (a consumer) and/or the photosynthetic alga Euglena gracilis (a producer). Co-cultivation with as few as 10(2) individuals ml(-1) of T. thermophila lowered the number of transformants to less than the detectable level (<1x10(0) ml(-1)), while co-cultivation with E. gracilis did not. Metabolites from co-cultures of T. thermophila and B. subtilis also decreased the number of transformants to less than the detectable level, while metabolites from co-culture of T. thermophila and B. subtilis with E. gracilis did not. Thus, the introduction of transformation inhibitory factor(s) by the grazing of T. thermophila and the attenuation of this inhibitory factor(s) by E. gracilis is indicated. These observations suggest that biological components do affect the natural transformation of B. subtilis. The study described is the first to suggest that ecological interactions are responsible not only for the carbon and energy cycles, but also for the processes governing horizontal transfer of genes, in microbial ecosystems.

  13. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare.

  14. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Paul J; Hanauer, Merlin M

    2014-03-18

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  15. Impacts of stream flow and climate variability on native and invasive woody species in a riparian ecosystem of a semi-arid region of the Great Plains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skolaut, K.; Awada, T.; Cherubini, P.; Schapaugh, A.; Huddle, J.

    2012-04-01

    Riparian ecosystems support diverse plant communities that exert direct and indirect biological, physical and chemical influence on, and are influenced by, adjacent water through both above and below-ground interactions. Historically, riparian areas of the northern Great Plains (United States) have been dominated by the native Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). This species relies on regular floods for regeneration and groundwater access for success. Over the past sixty years, changes in flow management and agricultural practices, coupled with climate variability and drought, have altered stream flow and caused a dramatic decline in stream water yields and levels of groundwater. These and other biotic factors have promoted the expansion of the upland native woody species Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), and the invasion of the non-native (introduced) Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) into riparian ecosystems. This invasion has further altered the water balance in the system and exasperated the problem of water scarcity with negative feedback on ecosystem services and growth of native woody species. The ability of P. deltoides to re-establish and grow is of concern for natural resource managers. The study utilizes tree ring analysis of annual growth rates and stable isotope ratios of 13C and 18O to determine 1) the response P. deltoides and invasive J. virginiana and E. angustifulia have to climate variation and stream flow regulation, and 2) the impacts of the two invasive species on the growth of native P. deltoides. Preliminary results have shown that P. deltoids annual growth rate (using basal area increment growth) continually declined over the last 40 yrs, while that of E. angustifolia steadily increased. Growth of both P. deltoides and J. virginiana displayed greater dependence on climatic factors than E. angustifolia. Ecological and hydrological significance of the results will be presented.

  16. Nitrogen and carbon cycling in a grassland community ecosystem as affected by elevated atmospheric CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystem and the long-term storage of C and N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd (...

  17. Quantifying Urban Watershed Stressor Gradients and Evaluating How Different Land Cover Datasets Affect Stream Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    We used a gradient (divided into impervious cover categories), spatially-balanced, random design (1) to sample streams along an impervious cover gradient in a large coastal watershed, (2) to characterize relationships between water chemistry and land cover, and (3) to document di...

  18. Surface and ground water quality in a restored urban stream affected by road salts

    EPA Science Inventory

    In 2001 research began in Minebank Run, MD to examine the impact of restoration on water quality. Our research area was to determine if road salts in the surface and ground waters are detrimental to the stream channel restoration. The upstream reach (UP), above the Baltimore I-...

  19. Preterm Birth Affects Dorsal-Stream Functioning Even after Age 6

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Santos, A.; Duret, M.; Mancini, J.; Gire, C.; Deruelle, C.

    2009-01-01

    With increasing numbers of preterm infants surviving, the impact of preterm birth on later cognitive development presents a major interest. This study investigates the impact of preterm birth on later dorsal- and ventral-stream functioning. An atypical pattern of performance was found for preterm children relative to full-term controls, but in the…

  20. A dietary assessment of selenium risk to aquatic birds on a coal mine affected stream in Alberta, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Wayland, M.; Casey, R.; Woodsworth, E.

    2007-07-15

    In this article, we present the results of a dietary-based assessment of the risk that selenium may pose to two aquatic bird species, the American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) and the Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus), on one of the coal mine-affected streams, the Gregg River. The study consisted of (1) a literature-based toxicity assessment, (2) simulation of selenium exposure in the diets and eggs of the two species, and (3) a risk assessment that coupled information on toxicity and exposure. Diet and egg selenium concentrations associated with a 20% hatch failure rate were 6.4 and 17 {mu} g {center_dot} g{sup -1} dry wt, respectively. Simulated dietary selenium concentrations were about 2.0-2.5 {mu} g {center_dot} g{sup -1} higher on the Gregg River than on reference streams for both species. When simulated dietary concentrations were considered, hatch failure rates on the Gregg River were predicted to average 12% higher in American Dippers and 8% higher in Harlequin Ducks than at reference streams. Corresponding values were only 3% for both species when predicted egg concentrations were used. Elevated levels of selenium in insects in some of the reference streams were unexpected and raised a question as to whether aquatic birds have evolved a higher tolerance level for dietary selenium in these areas.

  1. Nutrient Enrichment and Food Web Composition Affect Ecosystem Metabolism in an Experimental Seagrass Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Canuel, Elizabeth A.; Duffy, J. Emmett; Richardson, J. Paul

    2009-01-01

    Background Food web composition and resource levels can influence ecosystem properties such as productivity and elemental cycles. In particular, herbivores occupy a central place in food webs as the species richness and composition of this trophic level may simultaneously influence the transmission of resource and predator effects to higher and lower trophic levels, respectively. Yet, these interactions are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an experimental seagrass mesocosm system, we factorially manipulated water column nutrient concentrations, food chain length, and diversity of crustacean grazers to address two questions: (1) Does food web composition modulate the effects of nutrient enrichment on plant and grazer biomasses and stoichiometry? (2) Do ecosystem fluxes of dissolved oxygen and nutrients more closely reflect above-ground biomass and community structure or sediment processes? Nutrient enrichment and grazer presence generally had strong effects on biomass accumulation, stoichiometry, and ecosystem fluxes, whereas predator effects were weaker or absent. Nutrient enrichment had little effect on producer biomass or net ecosystem production but strongly increased seagrass nutrient content, ecosystem flux rates, and grazer secondary production, suggesting that enhanced production was efficiently transferred from producers to herbivores. Gross ecosystem production (oxygen evolution) correlated positively with above-ground plant biomass, whereas inorganic nutrient fluxes were unrelated to plant or grazer biomasses, suggesting dominance by sediment microbial processes. Finally, grazer richness significantly stabilized ecosystem processes, as predators decreased ecosystem production and respiration only in the zero- and one- species grazer treatments. Conclusions/Significance Overall, our results indicate that consumer presence and species composition strongly influence ecosystem responses to nutrient enrichment, and that increasing

  2. Optical properties of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) in aquatic ecosystems: Applications in ecosystem studies from headwater streams to the deep ocean. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffe, R.

    2010-12-01

    The study of natural dissolved organic material (DOM) contributes to the better understanding of ecosystem function as the carbon flux between environmental compartments represents an important linkage between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Within freshwater and marine ecosystems, DOM typically represents the largest pool of detrital organic carbon and greatly exceeds the organic carbon present in living biomass. Thus, the sources and fate of DOM are important terms in carbon budgets. DOM can also influence ecosystem function by controlling microbial food webs, act as a means of nutrient transport, buffer pH and influence toxicity and bioavailability of pollutants, among others. DOM composition influences its ‘quality’ and thus its photo- and bio-reactivity, both of which exert a strong control of the diagenetic reworking of this carbon pool. However, the molecular composition of DOM is highly complex and diverse, and its characterization is a serious challenge to analytical chemists. In recent years, several novel analytical approaches to the characterization of DOM have evolved, including those that are highly structure specific and others that provide information on broader molecular characteristics. Whilst the former are usually expensive and time consuming, the latter, often based on optical properties measurements, feature high sample throughput at a reduced cost but at the expense of structural specificity. While both approaches are complementary under ideal conditions, the latter are best suited for studies involving large spatial and temporal scales. The analysis of DOM optical properties, in particular excitation emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence combined with parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC), has emerged as a practical tool for the broad characterization of DOM quality. This presentation will provide examples for the application of EEM-PARAFAC in assessing environmental dynamics of DOM on both spatial and temporal scales, and in both

  3. Stream Restoration to Manage Nutrients in Degraded Watersheds

    EPA Science Inventory

    Historic land-use change can reduce water quality by impairing the ability of stream ecosystems to efficiently process nutrients such as nitrogen. Study results of two streams (Minebank Run and Big Spring Run) affected by urbanization, quarrying, agriculture, and impoundments in...

  4. Meta-Analysis of Lost Ecosystem Attributes in Urban Streams and the Effectiveness of Out-of-Channel Management Practices

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watershed development is a leading cause of stream impairment, and it increasingly threatens the availability, quality, and sustainability of freshwater resources as human populations continue to grow and migrate. Most efforts have focused on trying to improve ecological conditio...

  5. The Magnitude of Lost Ecosystem Structure and Function in Urban Streams and the Effectiveness of Watershed-Based Management

    EPA Science Inventory

    Watershed development is a leading cause of stream impairment and increasingly threatens the availability, quality, and sustainability of freshwater resources. In a recent global meta-analysis, we found that measures of desirable ecological structure (e.g., algal, macroinvertebra...

  6. Ice processes affect habitat use and movements of adult cutthroat trout and brook trout in a Wyoming foothills stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindstrom, J.W.; Hubert, W.A.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat use and movements of 25 adult cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii and 25 adult brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis from fall through winter 2002-2003 were assessed by means of radiotelemetry in a 7-km reach of a Rocky Mountains foothills stream. Temporal dynamics of winter habitat conditions were evaluated by regularly measuring the features of 30 pools and 5 beaver Castor canadensis ponds in the study reach. Groundwater inputs at three locations raised mean daily water temperatures in the stream channel during winter to 0.2-0.6??C and kept at least 250 m of the downstream channel free of ice, but the lack of surface ice further downstream led to the occurrence of frazil ice and anchor ice in pools and unstable habitat conditions for trout. Pools in segments that were not affected by groundwater inputs and beaver ponds tended to be stable and snow accumulated on the surface ice. Pools throughout the study reach tended to become more stable as snow accumulated. Both cutthroat trout and brook trout selected beaver ponds as winter progressed but tended to use lateral scour pools in proportion to their availability. Tagged fish not in beaver ponds selected lateral scour pools that were deeper than average and stable during winter. Movement frequencies by tagged fish decreased from fall through winter, but some individuals of both species moved during winter. Ice processes affected both the habitat use and movement patterns of cutthroat trout and brook trout in this foothills stream.

  7. Plant Species and Functional Group Combinations Affect Green Roof Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Lundholm, Jeremy; MacIvor, J. Scott; MacDougall, Zachary; Ranalli, Melissa

    2010-01-01

    Background Green roofs perform ecosystem services such as summer roof temperature reduction and stormwater capture that directly contribute to lower building energy use and potential economic savings. These services are in turn related to ecosystem functions performed by the vegetation layer such as radiation reflection and transpiration, but little work has examined the role of plant species composition and diversity in improving these functions. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a replicated modular extensive (shallow growing- medium) green roof system planted with monocultures or mixtures containing one, three or five life-forms, to quantify two ecosystem services: summer roof cooling and water capture. We also measured the related ecosystem properties/processes of albedo, evapotranspiration, and the mean and temporal variability of aboveground biomass over four months. Mixtures containing three or five life-form groups, simultaneously optimized several green roof ecosystem functions, outperforming monocultures and single life-form groups, but there was much variation in performance depending on which life-forms were present in the three life-form mixtures. Some mixtures outperformed the best monocultures for water capture, evapotranspiration, and an index combining both water capture and temperature reductions. Combinations of tall forbs, grasses and succulents simultaneously optimized a range of ecosystem performance measures, thus the main benefit of including all three groups was not to maximize any single process but to perform a variety of functions well. Conclusions/Significance Ecosystem services from green roofs can be improved by planting certain life-form groups in combination, directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. The strong performance by certain mixtures of life-forms, especially tall forbs, grasses and succulents, warrants further investigation into niche complementarity or facilitation as mechanisms

  8. Macrofauna assemblage composition and soil moisture interact to affect soil ecosystem functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collison, E. J.; Riutta, T.; Slade, E. M.

    2013-02-01

    Changing climatic conditions and habitat fragmentation are predicted to alter the soil moisture conditions of temperate forests. It is not well understood how the soil macrofauna community will respond to changes in soil moisture, and how changes to species diversity and community composition may affect ecosystem functions, such as litter decomposition and soil fluxes. Moreover, few studies have considered the interactions between the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate soil processes. Here we attempt to disentangle the interactive effects of two of the main factors that regulate soil processes at small scales - moisture and macrofauna assemblage composition. The response of assemblages of three common temperate soil invertebrates (Glomeris marginata Villers, Porcellio scaber Latreille and Philoscia muscorum Scopoli) to two contrasting soil moisture levels was examined in a series of laboratory mesocosm experiments. The contribution of the invertebrates to the leaf litter mass loss of two common temperate tree species of contrasting litter quality (easily decomposing Fraxinus excelsior L. and recalcitrant Quercus robur L.) and to soil CO2 fluxes were measured. Both moisture conditions and litter type influenced the functioning of the invertebrate assemblages, which was greater in high moisture conditions compared with low moisture conditions and on good quality vs. recalcitrant litter. In high moisture conditions, all macrofauna assemblages functioned at equal rates, whereas in low moisture conditions there were pronounced differences in litter mass loss among the assemblages. This indicates that species identity and assemblage composition are more important when moisture is limited. We suggest that complementarity between macrofauna species may mitigate the reduced functioning of some species, highlighting the importance of maintaining macrofauna species richness.

  9. Accumulation of chromium and lead in bryophytes and pteridophytes in a stream affected by tannery wastewater.

    PubMed

    Repula, Carolina Marília Martins; Quináia, Sueli Pércio; de Campos, Bruna Kauely; Ganzarolli, Edgard Moreira; Lopes, Mauro Chierici

    2012-01-01

    The concentrations of Cr and Pb were determined in bryophytes and pteridophytes sampled in a stream near a tannery in Guarapuava, southern Brazil. The concentrations of Cr and Pb were measured by cathodic and anodic voltammetry, respectively. These plants were used to evaluate the spatial distribution of elements in the examined stream, and contained elevated levels of Cr (0.71-24.07 μg/g) and Pb (4.33-24.20 μg/g). Chromium levels in plants near the tannery greatly exceeded background levels, indicating a severe to extreme degree of contamination with this metal. Lead levels were elevated to a lesser degree, indicating slight to moderate contamination for most plants collected near the tannery.

  10. Evaluation of environmental factors affecting yields of major dissolved ions of streams in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, Norman E.

    1984-01-01

    The seven major dissolved ions in streams-sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate and their sum dissolved solids from 56 basins in the conterminous United States and Hawaii were correlated with bedrock type, annual precipitation, population density, and average stream temperature of their respective basins through multiple linear-regression equations to predict annual yields. The study was restricted to basins underlain by limestone, sandstone, or crystalline rock. Depending on the constituent, yields ranged from about 10 to 100,000 kilograms per square kilometer. Predicted yields were within 1 order of magnitude of measured yields. The most important factor in yield prediction was annual precipitation, which accounted for 58 to 71 percent of all yields. Rock type was second in importance. Yields of magnesium, calcium, bicarbonate, and dissolved solids from limestone basins were 4 to 10 times larger than those from sandstone or crystalline basins as a result of carbonate weathering. Population density was an ineffective indicator of all constituents except sodium and chloride; it accounted for 13 percent of the annual sodium yield and 20 percent of the annual chloride yield. Average stream temperature was significant only for calcium and bicarbonate in limestone basins. Its relationship with yields was consistently negative. Either carbonate dissolution increases at low temperatures, or weathering in northern basins, which contain glacial deposits and have the lowest stream temperatures, is greater than in southern basins. Average ion contributions from atmospheric deposition accounted for 30 percent of the sodium and chloride and 60 percent of the sulfate in annual yields. The amount of sulfate derived from atmospheric contributions was higher in sandstone and crystalline basins (65 and 80 percent, respectively) than limestone basins (38 percent). This disparity is attributed to the lack of available sulfate in crystalline rock

  11. Sunlight, season, snowmelt, storm, and source affect E. coli populations in an artificially ponded stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitman, R.L.; Przybyla-Kelly, K.; Shively, D.A.; Nevers, M.B.; Byappanahalli, M.N.

    2008-01-01

    Reducing fecal indicator bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), in streams is important for many downstream areas. E. coli concentrations within streams may be reduced by intervening ponds or wetlands through a number of physical and biological means. A section of Dunes Creek, a small coastal stream of southern Lake Michigan, was impounded and studied for 30??months from pre-through post-construction of the experimental pond. E. coli reduction became more predictable and effective with pond age. E. coli followed the hydrograph and increased several-fold during both rainfall and snowmelt events. Seasonally, the pond was more effective at reducing E. coli during summer than winter. Late summer, non-solar reduction or inactivation of E. coli in the pond was estimated at 72% and solar inactivation at 26%. E. coli DNA fingerprinting demonstrated that the winter population was genetically more homogeneous than the summer population. Detection of FRNA coliphages suggests that there was fecal contamination during heavy rain events. An understanding of how environmental factors interact with E. coli populations is important for assessing anticipated contaminant loading and the reduction of indicator bacteria in downstream reaches. ?? 2007.

  12. Sunlight, season, snowmelt, storm, and source affect E. coli populations in an artificially ponded stream.

    PubMed

    Whitman, Richard L; Przybyla-Kelly, Katarzyna; Shively, Dawn A; Nevers, Meredith B; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N

    2008-02-15

    Reducing fecal indicator bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), in streams is important for many downstream areas. E. coli concentrations within streams may be reduced by intervening ponds or wetlands through a number of physical and biological means. A section of Dunes Creek, a small coastal stream of southern Lake Michigan, was impounded and studied for 30 months from pre-through post-construction of the experimental pond. E. coli reduction became more predictable and effective with pond age. E. coli followed the hydrograph and increased several-fold during both rainfall and snowmelt events. Seasonally, the pond was more effective at reducing E. coli during summer than winter. Late summer, non-solar reduction or inactivation of E. coli in the pond was estimated at 72% and solar inactivation at 26%. E. coli DNA fingerprinting demonstrated that the winter population was genetically more homogeneous than the summer population. Detection of FRNA coliphages suggests that there was fecal contamination during heavy rain events. An understanding of how environmental factors interact with E. coli populations is important for assessing anticipated contaminant loading and the reduction of indicator bacteria in downstream reaches. PMID:18031792

  13. How does wind-throw disturbance affect the carbon budget of an upland spruce forest ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindauer, Matthias; Schmid, Hans Peter; Grote, Rüdiger; Mauder, Matthias; Wolpert, Benjamin; Steinbrecher, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    Forests, especially in mid-latitudes are generally designated as large carbon sinks. However, stand-replacing disturbance events like fires, insect-infestations, or severe wind-storms can shift an ecosystem from carbon sink to carbon source within short time and keep it as this for a long time. In Addition, extreme weather situations which promote the occurrence of ecosystem disturbances are likely to increase in the future due to climate change. The development and competition of different vegetation types (spruce vs. grass) as well as soil organic matter (SOM), and their contribution to the net ecosystem exchange (NEE), in such disturbed forest ecosystems are largely unknown. In a large wind-throw area (ca. 600 m diameter, due to cyclone Kyrill in January 2007) within a mature upland spruce forest, where dead-wood has not been removed, in the Bavarian Forest National Park (Lackenberg, 1308 m a.s.l., Bavaria, Germany), fluxes of CO2, water vapor and energy have been measured with the Eddy Covariance (EC) method since 2009. Model simulations (MoBiLE) were used to estimate the GPP components from trees and grassland as well as to differentiate between soil and plant respiration, and to get an idea about the long term behavior of the ecosystems carbon exchange. For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 estimates of annual Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) showed that the wind-throw was a marked carbon source. However, the few remaining trees and newly emerging vegetation (grass, sparse young spruce, etc.) lead to an already strong Gross Ecosystem Production (GEP). Model simulations conformed well with the measurements. To our knowledge, we present the worldwide first long-term measurements of NEE within a non-cleared wind-throw-disturbed forest ecosystem.

  14. Hyporheic exchange and fulvic acid redox reactions in an alpine stream/wetland ecosystem, Colorado front range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, M.P.; McKnight, Diane M.; Cory, R.M.; Williams, M.W.; Runkel, R.L.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of hyporheic zone interactions on the redox state of fulvic acids and other redox active species was investigated in an alpine stream and adjacent wetland, which is a more reducing environment. A tracer injection experiment using bromide (Br-) was conducted in the stream system. Simulations with a transport model showed that rates of exchange between the stream and hyporheic zone were rapid (?? ??? 10-3 s -1). Parallel factor analysis of fluorescence spectra was used to quantify the redox state of dissolved fulvic acids. The rate coefficient for oxidation of reduced fulvic acids (?? = 6.5 ?? 10-3 s -1) in the stream indicates that electron-transfer reactions occur over short time scales. The rate coefficients for decay of ammonium (?? = 1.2 ?? 10-3 s-1) and production of nitrate (?? = -1.0 ?? 10-3 s-1) were opposite in sign but almost equal in magnitude. Our results suggest that fulvic acids are involved in rapid electron-transfer processes in and near the stream channel and may be important in determining ecological energy flow at the catchment scale. ?? 2006 American Chemical Society.

  15. Strontium isotope geochemistry of groundwaters and streams affected by agriculture, Locust Grove, MD

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Böhlke, J.K.; Horan, M.

    2000-01-01

    The effects of agriculture on the isotope geochemistry of Sr were investigated in two small watersheds in the Atlantic coastal plain of Maryland. Stratified shallow oxic groundwaters in both watersheds contained a retrievable record of increasing recharge rates of chemicals including NO3/-, Cl, Mg, Ca and Sr that were correlated with increasing fertilizer use between about 1940 and 1990. The component of Sr associated with recent agricultural recharge was relatively radiogenic (87Sr/86Sr = 0.715) and it was overwhelming with respect to Sr acquired naturally by water-rock interactions in the oxidized, non-calcareous portion of the saturated zone. Agricultural groundwaters that penetrated relatively unoxidized calcareous glauconitic sediments at depth acquired an additional component of Sr from dissolution of early tertiary marine CaCO3 (87Sr/86Sr=0.708) while undergoing O2 reduction and denitrification. Ground-water discharge contained mixtures of waters of various ages and redox states. Two streams draining the area are considered to have higher 87Sr/86Sr ratios and NO3/- concentrations than they would in the absence of agriculture; however, the streams have consistently different 87Sr/86Sr ratios and NO3/- concentrations because the average depth to calcareous reducing (denitrifying) sediments in the local groundwater flow system was different in the two watersheds. The results of this study indicate that agriculture can alter significantly the isotope geochemistry of Sr in aquifers and streams and that the effects could vary depending on the types, sources and amounts of fertilizers added, the history of fertilizer use and groundwater residence times. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  16. Diel mercury-concentration variations in streams affected by mining and geothermal discharge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nimick, D.A.; McCleskey, B.R.; Gammons, C.H.; Cleasby, T.E.; Parker, S.R.

    2007-01-01

    Diel variations of concentrations of unfiltered and filtered total Hg and filtered methyl Hg were documented during 24-h sampling episodes in water from Silver Creek, which drains a historical gold-mining district near Helena, Montana, and the Madison River, which drains the geothermal system of Yellowstone National Park. The concentrations of filtered methyl Hg had relatively large diel variations (increases of 68 and 93% from morning minima) in both streams. Unfiltered and filtered (0.1-??m filtration) total Hg in Silver Creek had diel concentration increases of 24% and 7%, respectively. In the Madison River, concentrations of unfiltered and filtered total Hg did not change during the sampling period. The concentration variation of unfiltered total Hg in Silver Creek followed the diel variation in suspended-particle concentration. The concentration variation of filtered total and methyl Hg followed the solar photocycle, with highest concentrations during the early afternoon and evening and lowest concentrations during the morning. None of the diel Hg variations correlated with diel variation in streamflow or major ion concentrations. The diel variation in filtered total Hg could have been produced by adsorption-desorption of Hg2+ or by reduction of Hg(II) to Hg0 and subsequent evasion of Hg0. The diel variation in filtered methyl Hg could have been produced by sunlight- and temperature-dependent methylation. This study is the first to examine diel Hg cycling in streams, and its results reinforce previous conclusions that diel trace-element cycling in streams is widespread but often not recognized and that parts of the biogeochemical Hg cycle respond quickly to the daily photocycle. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Using the PDSI to Estimate Summer Stream Discharge in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Implications for 20th Century Riparian Habitat Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persico, L.; Meyer, G. A.

    2013-12-01

    Small streams at lower elevations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) create riparian habitat in an otherwise dry environment. Riparian area can be expanded by beaver damming, which increases channel wetted area and local water tables, and allows fine-grained organic-rich sediment to accumulate. However, increases can be countered by severe drought. The loss of riparian area is potentially greatest in small basins dependent on snowpack for base flow, where prolonged severe drought may reduce base flow to zero. Discharge records are often lacking for basins < 20 km^2, making it difficult to directly examine how climate has impacted flow. The Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is a useful proxy for large-scale variations in available moisture. PDSI values for climate divisions are estimated from spatially weighted weather station measurements of temperature and precipitation. We use divisional PDSI values to estimate discharge on GYE small streams since 1900. USGS stream-gauge sites were regressed with the corresponding PDSI for each climate division. We also use a regional (2.5° by 2.5°) reconstruction of the PDSI based on 30 tree ring chronologies (Cook et al., 2004) to estimate discharge during the most severe two and ten year droughts (AD 1150-1151 and 805-796, respectively) during the Medieval Climatic Anomaly (MCA). The MCA is a period of high climate variability and widespread drought in the GYE. Significant correlations between stream discharge and the PDSI occur during the late summer and early fall and the strongest correlation between discharge and the PDSI occurs for the 3-month PDSI average centered on August. Stream-gauge records with bootstrapped correlation values greater than 0.65 were chosen for regression analyses. To estimate stream flows for ungauged stream reaches, stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed using measured stream flows and independent basin characteristics. Basin area and mean elevation are significant

  18. Characteristics of low-slope streams that affect O2 transfer rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, Gene W.; DeSimone, Leslie A.

    1991-01-01

    Multiple-regression techniques were used to derive the reaeration coefficients estimating equation for low sloped streams: K2 = 3.83 MBAS-0.41 SL0.20 H-0.76, where K2 is the reaeration coefficient in base e units per day; MBAS is the methylene blue active substances concentration in milligrams per liter; SL is the water-surface slope in foot per foot; and H is the mean-flow depth in feet. Fourteen hydraulic, physical, and water-quality characteristics were regressed against 29 measured-reaeration coefficients for low-sloped (water surface slopes less than 0.002 foot per foot) streams in Massachusetts and New York. Reaeration coefficients measured from May 1985 to October 1988 ranged from 0.2 to 11.0 base e units per day for 29 low-sloped tracer studies. Concentration of methylene blue active substances is significant because it is thought to be an indicator of concentration of surfactants which could change the surface tension at the air-water interface.

  19. Multi-scale interactions affecting transport, storage, and processing of solutes and sediments in stream corridors (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, J. W.; Packman, A. I.

    2010-12-01

    Surface water and groundwater flow interact with the channel geomorphology and sediments in ways that determine how material is transported, stored, and transformed in stream corridors. Solute and sediment transport affect important ecological processes such as carbon and nutrient dynamics and stream metabolism, processes that are fundamental to stream health and function. Many individual mechanisms of transport and storage of solute and sediment have been studied, including surface water exchange between the main channel and side pools, hyporheic flow through shallow and deep subsurface flow paths, and sediment transport during both baseflow and floods. A significant challenge arises from non-linear and scale-dependent transport resulting from natural, fractal fluvial topography and associated broad, multi-scale hydrologic interactions. Connections between processes and linkages across scales are not well understood, imposing significant limitations on system predictability. The whole-stream tracer experimental approach is popular because of the spatial averaging of heterogeneous processes; however the tracer results, implemented alone and analyzed using typical models, cannot usually predict transport beyond the very specific conditions of the experiment. Furthermore, the results of whole stream tracer experiments tend to be biased due to unavoidable limitations associated with sampling frequency, measurement sensitivity, and experiment duration. We recommend that whole-stream tracer additions be augmented with hydraulic and topographic measurements and also with additional tracer measurements made directly in storage zones. We present examples of measurements that encompass interactions across spatial and temporal scales and models that are transferable to a wide range of flow and geomorphic conditions. These results show how the competitive effects between the different forces driving hyporheic flow, operating at different spatial scales, creates a situation

  20. Modelling the changing interactions between riparian forests, stream channel dynamics and fish habitat in mountainous watersheds affected by wildfire (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, B. C.; Davidson, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Stream networks in the Pacific Northwest are particularly good examples of fluvial systems that are controlled by a range of biophysical interactions. Forests adjacent to such streams reinforce the channel banks, thereby affecting the channel shape, bed material transport capacity and degree of lateral activity. They also supply wood to the stream, which interacts with the channel by storing and releasing sediment, and by altering the frequency and character of pools, bars and riffles. Where wood is small enough to be transported by the stream but large enough to span the channel at some locations, jams can form that alter the channel pattern by triggering avulsions around the jams. These biophysical interactions strongly influence the quantity and quality of the physical habitat available for certain species of fish, particularly salmonids. Furthermore, they are strongly scale dependent, and the interactions (and thus habitat) characteristic of smaller channels are quite different from those typical in larger ones. These channels are also influenced (to varying degrees, depending on their scale) by disturbances to the riparian forest such as wildfire. We have developed a stochastic model to investigate how wood, sediment transport and habitat character interact across a range of channel scales (Fig. 1). The model is based on physical representations of the wood input and movement processes, and empirical relations from a set of flume experiments relating wood size and orientation to sediment accumulation, and we use it to run Monte Carlo simulations that describe the distribution of possible channel states for channels of different scale. We also use the model to investigate the response to and recovery from (in terms of physical habitat) disturbance by wildfire.

  1. Leaf Associated Microbial Activities in a Stream Affected by Acid Mine Drainage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schlief, Jeanette

    2004-11-01

    Microbial activity was assessed on birch leaves and plastic strips during 140 days of exposure at three sites in an acidic stream of the Lusatian post-mining landscape, Germany. The sites differed in their degrees of ochre deposition and acidification. The aim of the study was (1) to follow the microbial activities during leaf colonization, (2) to compare the effect of different environmental conditions on leaf associated microbial activities, and (3) to test the microbial availability of leaf litter in acidic mining waters. The activity peaked after 49 days and subsequently decreased gradually at all sites. A formation of iron plaques on leaf surfaces influenced associated microbial activity. It seemed that these plaques inhibit the microbial availability of leaf litter and serve as a microbial habitat by itself. (

  2. How a clogged canal affects ecological and human health in a tropical urban wetland ecosystem

    EPA Science Inventory

    The coastal city of San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical urban ecosystem woven among a series of interconnected bays, lagoons, drains, canals, and mangroves. As the city has expanded, infilling and urban development by the region’s poorest residents has choked an important c...

  3. Water availability controls on community structure of an ephemeral meltwater stream ecosystem in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKnight, D. M.; Simmons, B.; Stanish, L.

    2009-05-01

    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica contain many glacial meltwater streams that flow during the summer into lakes on the valley floors. Many streams have thriving cyanobacterial mats that are freeze-dried in winter and begin photosynthesis when flow arrives. We studied the community structure in a formerly abandoned channel, which was reactivated by a flow diversion in 1994. Cyanobacterial mats became abundant in the reactivated channel within a week and have remained evident even through cold, low flow summers. We recently compared the abundance and species distribution of invertebrates and diatoms in the cyanobacterial mats and in hyporheic zone during cold (low flow) and warm (high flow) summers. During the warm summer, there were sites where the invertebrate abundance was greater in the mats than in the underlying hyporheic sediments. In contrast, during the cold summer the invertebrate biomass was lower in the mats than in the hyporheic sediments. These findings suggest that the optimal micro-habitat for invertebrates in these mats and sediments is partially driven by ephemeral stream hydrology. This limitation on potential invertebrate grazers (which are important nutrient transformers) may account for the accumulation of algal biomass and subsequent nutrient immobilization in the mats over many summers.

  4. Nitrate reduction in sediments of lowland tropical streams draining swamp forest in Costa Rica: An ecosystem perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duff, J.H.; Pringle, C.M.; Triska, F.J.

    1996-01-01

    Nitrate reduction and denitrification were measured in swamp forest streams draining lowland rain forest on Costa Rica's Atlantic slope foothills using the C2H2-block assay and sediment-water nutrient fluxes. Denitrification assays using the C2H2-block technique indicated that the full suite of denitrifying enzymes were present in the sediment but that only a small fraction of the functional activity could be expressed without adding NO3/-. Under optimal conditions, denitrification enzyme activity averaged 15 nmoles cm-3 sediment h-1. Areal NO3/- reduction rates measured from NO3/- loss in the overlying water of sediment- water flux chambers ranged from 65 to 470 umoles m-2 h-1. Oxygen loss rates accompanying NO3/-depletion averaged 750 umoles m-2 h-1. Corrected for denitrification of NO3/- oxidized from NH4/+ in the sediment, gross NO3/- reduction rates increase by 130 umoles m-2 h-1, indicating nitrification may be the predominant source of NO3/- for NO3/- reduction in swamp forest stream sediments. Under field conditions approximately 80% of the increase in inorganic N mass along a 1250-m reach of the Salto River was in the form of NO3/- with the balance NH4/+. Scrutiny of potential inorganic N sources suggested that mineralized N released from the streambed was a major source of the inorganic N increase. Despite significant NO3/- reduction potential, swamp forest stream sediments appear to be a source of inorganic N to downstream communities.

  5. Bioaccumulation trends of arsenic and antimony in a freshwater ecosystem affected by mine drainage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dovick, Meghan A.; Kulp, Thomas R.; Arkle, Robert .; Pilliod, David

    2016-01-01

    We compared As and Sb bioaccumulation and biomagnification when these metalloids co-occurred at varying environmental concentrations in a stream and wetlands near a contaminated mine site in Idaho (USA). We measured As and Sb concentrations in water and substrate samples, and in tissues of organisms representing several trophic levels. Bioaccumulation of both As and Sb was observed in stream organisms with the following trend of bio-diminution with increasing trophic level: primary producers>tadpoles>macroinvertebrates>trout. We also note reductions in metalloid concentrations in one of two stream remediation reaches engineered within the past 17 years to ameliorate metalloid contamination in the stream. Several wetlands contained thick microbial mats and were highly populated with boreal toad tadpoles that fed on them. The mats were extremely contaminated (up to 76 564 mg kg-1 As and 675 mg kg-1 Sb) with amorphous As- and Sb-bearing minerals that we interpret as biogenic precipitates from geomicrobiological As- and Sb-cycling. Ingested mat material provided a direct source of metalloids to tadpoles, and concentrations of 3867 mg kg-1 (As) and 375 mg kg-1 (Sb) reported here represent the highest whole body As and Sb levels ever reported in living tadpoles. The bulk of tadpole metalloid burden remained in the gut despite attempts to purge the tadpoles prior to analysis. This study adds to a number of recent investigations reporting bioaccumulation, but not biomagnification, of As and Sb in food webs. Moreover, our results suggest that tadpoles, in particular, may be more resistant to metalloid contamination than previously assumed.

  6. Lead contamination of an old shooting range affecting the local ecosystem--A case study with a holistic approach.

    PubMed

    Rantalainen, Minna-Liisa; Torkkeli, Minna; Strömmer, Rauni; Setälä, Heikki

    2006-10-01

    The aim of this case study was to uncover the consequences of lead pellet-derived heavy lead contamination at a cast-off shooting range in southern Finland, covering aspects from soil chemistry and biology up to ecosystem level. The observed changes in the soil properties of the most contaminated areas suggest that the contamination may be disturbing processes of decomposition and nutrient mineralisation. Also two functionally important groups of soil organisms, microbes (as analysed using the PLFA analysis) and enchytraeid worms, were negatively affected by the contamination. Furthermore, there was an indication of reduced pine litter production at the contaminated areas. On the other hand, lead contamination appears not to have affected pine growth or soil-dwelling nematodes and microarthropods, and the general outlook of the whole ecosystem is that of a healthy forest. Thus, the boreal forest ecosystem studied as a whole appears to bear strong resistance to contamination, despite negative effects of lead on many of its components. This resistance may result from e.g. low bioavailability of lead, avoidance of the most contaminated soil horizons and microsites by the organisms, and functional redundancy and development of lead-tolerant populations amongst the organisms. The relative importance of these factors and the mechanisms behind them will be investigated in forthcoming studies.

  7. Hydrostatic pressure affects selective tidal stream transport in the North Sea brown shrimp (Crangon crangon).

    PubMed

    Tielmann, Moritz; Reiser, Stefan; Hufnagl, Marc; Herrmann, Jens-Peter; Eckardt, André; Temming, Axel

    2015-10-01

    The brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) is a highly abundant invertebrate in the North Sea, with its life cycle stages ranging from deep offshore spawning to shallow onshore nursery areas. To overcome the long distances between these two habitats, brown shrimp are suspected to use selective tidal stream transport (STST), moving with the cyclic tide currents towards their preferred water depths. However, it is not known which stimulus actually triggers STST behavior in brown shrimp. In this work, we determined the influence of different hyperbaric pressures on STST behavior of juvenile brown shrimp. Brown shrimp activity was recorded in a hyperbaric pressure chamber that supplied constant and dynamic pressure conditions simulating different depths, with and without a tidal cycle. Subsequent wavelet and Fourier analysis were performed to determine the periodicity in the activity data. The results of the experiments show that STST behavior in brown shrimp varies with pressure and therefore with depth. We further show that STST behavior can be initiated by cyclic pressure changes. However, an interaction with one or more other environmental triggers remains possible. Furthermore, a security ebb-tide activity was identified that may serve to avoid potential stranding in shallow waters and is 'remembered' by shrimp for about 1.5 days without contact with tidal triggers.

  8. Adopt a Stream.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Friends of Environmental Education Society of Alberta (Edmonton).

    This environmental education program is designed to increase awareness among junior high school students of stream ecosystems and those habitats which comprise the ecosystems adjacent to streams. The teaching content of the manual is presented in two major sections. The first section provides information and background material for the group…

  9. Assessing potential toxicity of chloride-affected groundwater discharging to an urban stream using juvenile freshwater mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea).

    PubMed

    Roy, James W; McInnis, Rodney; Bickerton, Greg; Gillis, Patricia L

    2015-11-01

    Groundwater contaminants, such as chloride from road salt, pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems when and where they discharge to surface waters. Here we study the application of a laboratory toxicity bioassay to field-collected samples from contaminated groundwater discharging to an urban stream. The objectives were to assess the potential toxicity of the discharging groundwater, while also exploring the suitability of such standard tests to site groundwater. Juvenile freshwater mussels were chosen as a groundwater-appropriate (endobenthic) test organism. Groundwater was sampled from 6 sites at approximate depths of 0, 10, and 50 cm below the sediment. Concentrations of chloride and several metals were above aquatic life guidelines in some samples. Exposure (96-h) to site groundwater resulted in survival of 90-100% and 80-100% for the 0-cm and deeper samples, respectively, indicating that groundwater may pose a toxicological threat to freshwater mussels. Several samples with high chloride had a survival rate of 80%, but generally there was poor correlation between survival and individual contaminants. Parallel juvenile mussel exposures using reconstituted water and NaCl predicted survival in the natural groundwater below 50% based on chloride concentrations. This indicates some protective ability of groundwater, possibly associated with water hardness. Finally, some technical issues with performing bioassays with groundwater were noted. First, aeration of previously anoxic groundwater samples caused marked changes in water quality (especially metal concentrations). Second, calcite crystals formed on the mussel shells in samples with elevated chloride and water hardness, though with no apparent negative effects.

  10. Hydrologic variation with land use across the contiguous United States: Geomorphic and ecological consequences for stream ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poff, N. LeRoy; Bledsoe, Brian P.; Cuhaciyan, Christopher O.

    2006-09-01

    Using daily discharge data from the USGS, we analyzed how hydrologic regimes vary with land use in four large hydrologic regions that span a gradient of natural land cover and precipitation across the continental United States. In each region we identified small streams (contributing area < 282 km 2) that have continuous daily streamflow data. Using a national database, we characterized the composition of land cover of the watersheds in terms of aggregate measures of agriculture, urbanization, and least disturbed ("natural"). We calculated hydrologic alteration using 10 ecologically-relevant hydrologic metrics that describe magnitude, frequency, and duration of flow for 158 watersheds within the Southeast (SE), Central (CE), Pacific Northwest (NW), and Southwest (SW) hydrologic regions of the United States. Within each watershed, we calculated percent cover for agriculture, urbanized land, and least disturbed land to elucidate how components of the natural flow regime inherent to a hydrologic region is modified by different types and proportions of land cover. We also evaluated how dams in these regions altered the hydrologic regimes of the 43 streams that have pre- and post-dam daily streamflow data. In an analysis of flow alteration along gradients of increasing proportion of the three land cover types, we found many regional differences in hydrologic responses. In response to increasing urban land cover, peak flows increased (SE and CE), minimum flows increased (CE) or decreased (NW), duration of near-bankfull flows declined (SE, NW) and flow variability increased (SE, CE, and NW). Responses to increasing agricultural land cover were less pronounced, as minimum flows decreased (CE), near-bankfull flow durations increased (SE and SW), and flow variability declined (CE). In a second analysis, for three of the regions, we compared the difference between least disturbed watersheds and those having either > 15% urban and > 25% agricultural land cover. Relative to

  11. Characteristics of streams and aquifers and processes affecting the salinity of water in the upper Colorado River basin, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Slade, R.M.; Buszka, P.M.

    1994-01-01

    The chemical characteristics of the saline water in streams and shallow aquifers in the study area were compared to characteristics of water that would result from the probable processes affecting the salinity of water, such as evapotranspiration, mineral dissolution, and mixing of water from streams and shallow-aquifer water with brines from deep aquifers. Dissolution of halite or mixing with deep-aquifer water was the most common cause of increased salinity in 48.0 percent of 77 water samples from shallow aquifers, as classified using salt-norm analysis; the second most common cause was the weathering and dissolution of sulfur-bearing minerals. Mixing with water from soil-mineral dissolution was classified as the principal source of chloride in 28.4 percent of 67 water samples from shallow aquifers with nitrate determinations. Trace-species/chloride ratios indicated that mixing with water from deep aquifers in rocks of the Pennsylvanian System was the principal source of chloride in 24.4 percent of 45 shallow-aquifer samples lacking nitrate determinations.

  12. Epilithic community metabolism as an indicator of impact and recovery in streams affected by acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    DeNicola, Dean M; Layton, Lee; Czapski, Tiffaney R

    2012-12-01

    We measured biomass and metabolism of epilithic communities on five dates in different seasons at four sites in a watershed that has received extensive restoration for acid mine drainage (AMD) through the construction of passive treatment systems. Chlorophyll a biomass and productivity directly corresponded to AMD stress from coal mining. The site downstream of extensive passive treatment had significantly greater biomass and gross primary productivity rates than the site receiving only untreated AMD, but values were below those for two reference sites, indicating incomplete recovery. The degree of difference in these metrics among sites varied seasonally, primarily related to differences in canopy cover changes, but the ranking of sites in terms of stress generally was consistent. Reference sites had a significantly greater chlorophyll a/pheophytin ratio than untreated and treated sites, also indicating AMD stressed the communities. Community respiration was less affected by AMD stress than productivity or chlorophyll a. Productivity measures are not widely used to assess AMD impacts, and have been shown to both increase and decrease with AMD stress. The elimination of herbivores in AMD-impacted streams can increase productivity in the benthic algal community. Our study found productivity decreased with increasing AMD stress. Although sites with AMD stress had reduced herbivore populations, light, nutrients and metal precipitates appear to have limited growth of AMD-tolerant algal taxa. Therefore, it appears changes in food web structure due to AMD stress had less of an effect on epilithic productivity than environmental conditions within the stream.

  13. Foundation species loss affects vegetation structure more than ecosystem function in a northeastern USA forest.

    PubMed

    Orwig, David A; Barker Plotkin, Audrey A; Davidson, Eric A; Lux, Heidi; Savage, Kathleen E; Ellison, Aaron M

    2013-01-01

    Loss of foundation tree species rapidly alters ecological processes in forested ecosystems. Tsuga canadensis, an hypothesized foundation species of eastern North American forests, is declining throughout much of its range due to infestation by the nonnative insect Adelges tsugae and by removal through pre-emptive salvage logging. In replicate 0.81-ha plots, T. canadensis was cut and removed, or killed in place by girdling to simulate adelgid damage. Control plots included undisturbed hemlock and mid-successional hardwood stands that represent expected forest composition in 50-100 years. Vegetation richness, understory vegetation cover, soil carbon flux, and nitrogen cycling were measured for two years prior to, and five years following, application of experimental treatments. Litterfall and coarse woody debris (CWD), including snags, stumps, and fallen logs and branches, have been measured since treatments were applied. Overstory basal area was reduced 60%-70% in girdled and logged plots. Mean cover and richness did not change in hardwood or hemlock control plots but increased rapidly in girdled and logged plots. Following logging, litterfall immediately decreased then slowly increased, whereas in girdled plots, there was a short pulse of hemlock litterfall as trees died. CWD volume remained relatively constant throughout but was 3-4× higher in logged plots. Logging and girdling resulted in small, short-term changes in ecosystem dynamics due to rapid regrowth of vegetation but in general, interannual variability exceeded differences among treatments. Soil carbon flux in girdled plots showed the strongest response: 35% lower than controls after three years and slowly increasing thereafter. Ammonium availability increased immediately after logging and two years after girdling, due to increased light and soil temperatures and nutrient pulses from leaf-fall and reduced uptake following tree death. The results from this study illuminate ecological processes underlying

  14. Performance of an open limestone channel for treating a stream affected by acid rock drainage (León, Spain).

    PubMed

    Santofimia, Esther; López-Pamo, Enrique

    2016-07-01

    The generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) was observed after the oxidation dissolution of pyrite-rich black shales, which were excavated during the construction of a highway in León (Spain). ARDs are characterized by the presence of high concentrations of sulfate and metals (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Co, Ni, Th, and U) that affect the La Silva stream. Dissolved element concentrations showed values between one and four orders of magnitude higher than those of natural waters of this area. A passive treatment system was constructed; the aim of which was to improve the quality of the water of the stream. This work provides a hydrochemical characterization of the La Silva stream after its transit through the different elements that constitute the passive treatment system (open limestone channel (OLC), small ponds, and a wetland), during its first year of operation. The passive treatment system has two sections separated by a tunnel 230 m long. The first section, which stretches between the highway and the tunnel entrance, is an OLC 350 m long with a slope of 16 %. The second section, which stretches from the tunnel exit to the end wetland, has a length of 700 m and a slope of 6 %; it is in this section where six small ponds are located. In the first section of this passive treatment system, the OLC was effectively increasing the pH from 3 to 4-4.5 and eliminating all of the dissolved Fe and the partially dissolved Al. These elements, after hydrolysis at a pH 3-3.5 and 4-4.5, respectively, had precipitated as schwertmannite and hydrobasaluminite, while other dissolved metals were removed totally or partially for adsorption by the precipitates and/or by coprecipitation. The second section receives different inputs of water such as ARDs and natural waters. After exiting the treatment system, the stream is buffered by Al at a pH of 4-4.3, showing high Al concentrations (19-101 mg/L) but with a complete removal of dissolved Fe. Unfortunately, the outflow shows similar or

  15. Performance of an open limestone channel for treating a stream affected by acid rock drainage (León, Spain).

    PubMed

    Santofimia, Esther; López-Pamo, Enrique

    2016-07-01

    The generation of acid rock drainage (ARD) was observed after the oxidation dissolution of pyrite-rich black shales, which were excavated during the construction of a highway in León (Spain). ARDs are characterized by the presence of high concentrations of sulfate and metals (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Co, Ni, Th, and U) that affect the La Silva stream. Dissolved element concentrations showed values between one and four orders of magnitude higher than those of natural waters of this area. A passive treatment system was constructed; the aim of which was to improve the quality of the water of the stream. This work provides a hydrochemical characterization of the La Silva stream after its transit through the different elements that constitute the passive treatment system (open limestone channel (OLC), small ponds, and a wetland), during its first year of operation. The passive treatment system has two sections separated by a tunnel 230 m long. The first section, which stretches between the highway and the tunnel entrance, is an OLC 350 m long with a slope of 16 %. The second section, which stretches from the tunnel exit to the end wetland, has a length of 700 m and a slope of 6 %; it is in this section where six small ponds are located. In the first section of this passive treatment system, the OLC was effectively increasing the pH from 3 to 4-4.5 and eliminating all of the dissolved Fe and the partially dissolved Al. These elements, after hydrolysis at a pH 3-3.5 and 4-4.5, respectively, had precipitated as schwertmannite and hydrobasaluminite, while other dissolved metals were removed totally or partially for adsorption by the precipitates and/or by coprecipitation. The second section receives different inputs of water such as ARDs and natural waters. After exiting the treatment system, the stream is buffered by Al at a pH of 4-4.3, showing high Al concentrations (19-101 mg/L) but with a complete removal of dissolved Fe. Unfortunately, the outflow shows similar or

  16. Grazing-induced losses of biodiversity affect the transpiration of an arid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Verón, Santiago R; Paruelo, José M; Oesterheld, Martín

    2011-02-01

    Degradation processes often lead to species loss. Such losses would impact on ecosystem functioning depending on the extinction order and the functional and structural aspects of species. For the Patagonian arid steppe, we used a simulation model to study the effects of species loss on the rate and variability (i.e. stability) of transpiration as a key attribute of ecosystem functioning. We addressed (1) the differences between the overgrazing extinction order and other potential orders, and (2) the role of biomass abundance, biomass distribution, and functional diversity on the effect of species loss due to overgrazing. We considered a community composed of ten species which were assigned an order of extinction due to overgrazing based on their preference by livestock. We performed four model simulations to test for overgrazing effects through different combinations of species loss, and reductions of biomass and functional diversity. In general, transpiration rate and variability were positively associated to species richness and remained fairly constant until half the species were lost by overgrazing. The extinction order by overgrazing was the most conservative of all possible orders. The amount of biomass was more important than functional diversity in accounting for the impacts of species richness on transpiration. Our results suggest that, to prevent Patagonian steppes from shifting to stable, low-production systems (by overgrazing), maintaining community biomass is more important than preserving species richness or species functional diversity. PMID:20865282

  17. Is the Climate of Bering Sea Warming and Affecting the Ecosystem?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.; Stabeno, Phyllis J.

    2004-08-01

    Observations from the Bering Sea are good indicators of decadal shifts in climate, as the Bering is a transition region between the cold, dry Arctic air mass to the north, and the moist, relatively warm maritime air mass to the south. The Bering Sea is also a transition region between Arctic and sub-Arctic ecosystems; this boundary can be loosely identified with the extent of winter sea-ice cover. Like a similar transition zone in the eastern North Atlantic, the Bering Sea is experiencing a northward biogeographical shift in response to changing temperature and atmospheric forcing. If this shift continues over the next decade, it will have major impacts on commercial and subsistence harvests as Arctic species are displaced by sub-Arctic species. The stakes are enormous, as this rich and diverse ecosystem currently provides 47% of the U.S. fishery production by weight, and is home to 80% of the U.S. sea bird population, 95% of northern fur seals, and major populations of Steller sea lions, walrus, and whales.

  18. Geochemical study of stream waters affected by mining activities in the SE Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Lorenzo, Maria Luz; Perez-Sirvent, Carmen; Martinez-Sanchez, Maria Jose; Bech, Jaime

    2015-04-01

    Water pollution by dissolved metals in mining areas has mainly been associated with the oxidation of sulphide-bearing minerals exposed to weathering conditions, resulting in low quality effluents of acidic pH and containing a high level of dissolved metals. According to transport process, three types of pollution could be established: a) Primary contamination, formed by residues placed close to the contamination sources; b) Secondary contamination, produced as a result of transport out of its production areas; c) Tertiary contamination. The aim of this work was to study trace element in water samples affected by mining activities and to apply the MINTEQ model for calculating aqueous geochemical equilibria. The studied area constituted an important mining centre for more than 2500 years, ceasing activity in 1991. The ore deposits of this zone have iron, lead and zinc as the main metal components. As a result, a lot of contaminations sources, formed by mining steriles, waste piles and foundry residues are present. For this study, 36 surficial water samples were collected after a rain episode in 4 different areas. In these samples, the trace element content was determined by by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (Fe and Zn), electrothermal atomization atomic absorption spectrometry (Pb and Cd), atomic fluorescence spectrometry (As) and ICP-MS for Al. MINTEQA2 is a geochemical equilibrium speciation model capable of computing equilibria among the dissolved, adsorbed, solid, and gas phases in an environmental setting and was applied to collected waters. Zone A: A5 is strongly influenced by tailing dumps and showed high trace element content. In addition, is influenced by the sea water and then showed high bromide, chloride, sodium and magnesium content, together with a basic pH. The MINTEQ model application suggested that Zn and Cd could precipitate as carbonate (hidrocincite, smithsonite and otavite). A9 also showed acid pH and high trace element content; is

  19. Methane fluxes in wetland and forest soils, beaver ponds, and low-order streams of a temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yavitt, J. B.; Lang, G. E.; Sexstone, A. J.

    1990-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether temperate wetlands and forests play important roles in the global balances of atmospheric methane. Flux measurements for methane in several different wetland, forest, and open-water (e.g., beaver pond and low-order stream) sites were determined using collection chambers placed over the soil- or water-air interface. All of the sites were located in the Appalachian Mountain region of West Virginia and western Maryland. Between June 1987 and April 1989 the wetland sites acted as small sources of atmospheric methane, with emission rates for methane usually lower than 200 mg CH4/sq m per day; consumption of atmospheric methane in the wetland soils was observed frequently.

  20. Early life-history consequences of growth-hormone transgenesis in rainbow trout reared in stream ecosystem mesocosms.

    PubMed

    Crossin, Glenn T; Sundström, L Fredrik; Vandersteen, Wendy E; Devlin, Robert H

    2015-01-01

    There is persistent commercial interest in the use of growth modified fishes for shortening production cycles and increasing overall food production, but there is concern over the potential impact that transgenic fishes might have if ever released into nature. To explore the ecological consequences of transgenic fish, we performed two experiments in which the early growth and survival of growth-hormone transgenic rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were assessed in naturalized stream mesocosms that either contained predators or were predator-free. We paid special attention to the survival bottleneck that occurs during the early life-history of salmonids, and conducted experiments at two age classes (first-feeding fry and 60 days post-first-feeding) that lie on either side of the bottleneck. In the late summer, the first-feeding transgenic trout could not match the growth potential of their wild-type siblings when reared in a hydrodynamically complex and oligotrophic environment, irrespective of predation pressure. Furthermore, overall survival of transgenic fry was lower than in wild-type (transgenic = 30% without predators, 8% with predators; wild-type = 81% without predators, 31% with predators). In the experiment with 60-day old fry, we explored the effects of the transgene in different genetic backgrounds (wild versus domesticated). We found no difference in overwinter survival but significantly higher growth by transgenic trout, irrespective of genetic background. We conclude that the high mortality of GH-transgenic trout during first-feeding reflects an inability to sustain the basic metabolic requirements necessary for life in complex, stream environments. However, when older, GH-transgenic fish display a competitive advantage over wild-type fry, and show greater growth and equal survival as wild-type. These results demonstrate how developmental age and time of year can influence the response of genotypes to environmental conditions. We therefore urge

  1. Nutrient addition differentially affects ecological processes of Avicennia germinans in nitrogen versus phosphorus limited mangrove ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feller, Ilka C.; Lovelock, C.E.; McKee, K.L.

    2007-01-01

    Nutrient over-enrichment is a major threat to marine environments, but system-specific attributes of coastal ecosystems may result in differences in their sensitivity and susceptibility to eutrophication. We used fertilization experiments in nitrogen (N)- and phosphorus (P)-limited mangrove forests to test the hypothesis that alleviating different kinds of nutrient limitation may have different effects on ecosystem structure and function in natural systems. We compared a broad range of ecological processes to determine if these systems have different thresholds where shifts might occur in nutrient limitation. Growth responses indicated N limitation in Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) forests in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and P limitation at Twin Cays, Belize. When nutrient deficiency was relieved, A. germinans grew out of its stunted form by increasing wood relative to leaf biomass and shoot length relative to lateral growth. At the P-limited site, P enrichment (+P) increased specific leaf area, N resorption, and P uptake, but had no effect on P resorption. At the N-limited site, +N increased both N and P resorption, but did not alter biomass allocation. Herbivory was greater at the P-limited site and was unaffected by +P, whereas +N led to increased herbivory at the N-limited site. The responses to nutrient enrichment depended on the ecological process and limiting nutrient and suggested that N- versus P-limited mangroves do have different thresholds. +P had a greater effect on more ecological processes at Twin Cays than did +N at the IRL, which indicated that the P-limited site was more sensitive to nutrient loading. Because of this sensitivity, eutrophication is more likely to cause a shift in nutrient limitation at P-limited Twin Cays than N-limited IRL. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  2. Interim Results from a Study of the Impacts of Tin (II) Based Mercury Treatment in a Small Stream Ecosystem: Tims Branch, Savannah River Site

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, Brian; BryanJr., Larry; Mathews, Teresa J; Peterson, Mark J; Roy, W Kelly; Jett, Robert T; Smith, John G

    2012-03-01

    A research team is assessing the impacts of an innovative mercury treatment system in Tims Branch, a small southeastern stream. The treatment system, installed in 2007, reduces and removes inorganic mercury from water using tin(II) (stannous) chloride addition followed by air stripping. The system results in discharge of inorganic tin to the ecosystem. This screening study is based on historical information combined with measurements of contaminant concentrations in water, fish, sediment, biofilms and invertebrates. Initial mercury data indicate that first few years of mercury treatment resulted in a significant decrease in mercury concentration in an upper trophic level fish, redfin pickerel, at all sampling locations in the impacted reach. For example, the whole body mercury concentration in redfin pickerel collected from the most impacted pond decreased approximately 72% between 2006 (pre-treatment) and 2010 (post-treatment). Over this same period, mercury concentrations in the fillet of redfin pickerel in this pond were estimated to have decreased from approximately 1.45 {micro}g/g (wet weight basis) to 0.45 {micro}g/g - a decrease from 4.8x to 1.5x the current EPA guideline concentration for mercury in fillet (0.3 {micro}g/g). Thermodynamic modeling, scanning electron microscopy, and other sampling data for tin suggest that particulate tin (IV) oxides are a significant geochemical species entering the ecosystem with elevated levels of tin measured in surficial sediments and biofilms. Detectable increases in tin in sediments and biofilms extended approximately 3km from the discharge location. Tin oxides are recalcitrant solids that are relatively non-toxic and resistant to dissolution. Work continues to develop and validate methods to analyze total tin in the collected biota samples. In general, the interim results of this screening study suggest that the treatment process has performed as predicted and that the concentration of mercury in upper trophic level

  3. Climatic Versus Biotic Constraints on Carbon and Water Fluxes in Seasonally Drought-affected Ponderosa Pine Ecosystems. Chapter 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwarz, P. A.; Law, B. E.; Williams, M.; Irvine, J.; Kurpius, M.; Moore, D.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the relative importance of climatic versus biotic controls on gross primary production (GPP) and water vapor fluxes in seasonally drought-affected ponderosa pine forests. The study was conducted in young (YS), mature (MS), and old stands (OS) over 4 years at the AmeriFlux Metolius sites. Model simulations showed that interannual variation of GPP did not follow the same trends as precipitation, and effects of climatic variation were smallest at the OS (50%), and intermediate at the YS (<20%). In the young, developing stand, interannual variation in leaf area has larger effects on fluxes than climate, although leaf area is a function of climate in that climate can interact with age-related shifts in carbon allocation and affect whole-tree hydraulic conductance. Older forests, with well-established root systems, appear to be better buffered from effects of seasonal drought and interannual climatic variation. Interannual variation of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was also lowest at the OS, where NEE is controlled more by interannual variation of ecosystem respiration, 70% of which is from soil, than by the variation of GPP, whereas variation in GPP is the primary reason for interannual changes in NEE at the YS and MS. Across spatially heterogeneous landscapes with high frequency of younger stands resulting from natural and anthropogenic disturbances, interannual climatic variation and change in leaf area are likely to result in large interannual variation in GPP and NEE.

  4. Future increase in temperature more than decrease in litter quality can affect microbial litter decomposition in streams.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Verónica; Chauvet, Eric

    2011-09-01

    The predicted increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration for this century is expected to lead to increases in temperature and changes in litter quality that can affect small woodland streams, where water temperature is usually low and allochthonous organic matter constitutes the basis of the food web. We have assessed the individual and interactive effect of water temperature (5 and 10°C) and alder litter quality produced under ambient CO(2) levels (ambient litter) or under CO(2) concentrations predicted for 2050 (elevated litter) on litter decomposition and on fungal activity and assemblage structure. Litter decomposition rates and fungal respiration rates were significantly faster at 10 than at 5°C, but they were not affected by litter quality. Litter quality affected mycelial biomass accrual at 5 but not at 10°C, while increases in temperature stimulated biomass accrual on ambient but not on elevated litter. A similar pattern was observed for conidial production. All variables were stimulated on elevated litter at 10°C (future scenario) compared with ambient litter at 5°C (present scenario), but interactions between temperature and litter quality were additive. Temperature was the factor that most strongly affected the structure of aquatic hyphomycete assemblages. Our results indicate that if future increases in atmospheric CO(2) lead to only slight modifications in litter quality, the litter decomposition and fungal activities and community structure will be strongly controlled by increased water temperature. This may have serious consequences for aquatic systems as faster litter decomposition may lead to food depletion for higher trophic levels. PMID:21461934

  5. Diurnal pH variations of a Glacial Stream: a starting point for Inquiry-driven student and teacher Investigations of a Glacial Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, W. P.; Galbraith, J.; Fatland, D. R.; Heavner, M.

    2009-12-01

    Contemporary geoscience research often operates in a mode that generates huge repositories of data available on the internet to the scientific community and the general public. The SEAMONSTER (SM) online data browser of both archival and real-time data is an example of such a dynamic online ecosystem resource associated with the Juneau Icefield. Although newly developed database navigation tools and geobrowsers make it easy for non-experts to access data of interest, it nonetheless can be daunting to K-16 educators to fashion lesson plans that make effective use of these rich resources. In the following scenario, a student and associated teacher, operating outside the traditional didactic lecture/demo mode, explore and try to make sense of a tiny portion of SM data in a spirit of inquiry guided by curiosity, looking for features that catch their attention as they skim through interactive time-series graphs (96 samples/day) of data from Lemon Creek (which drains Lemon Glacier) for stream hydrological variables (temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, discharge) and associated meteorological variables (precipitation, humidity, temperature). Amidst all the complex fluctuations that follow no immediately apparent pattern, one regular and continuous feature does stand out: a seemingly sinusoidal diurnal variation in pH of about 0.1 that peaks daily at noon. This high-frequency signal is superimposed on a slower signal characterized by multiple-day trends and larger fluctuations in pH. The resulting composite signal with its easily identifiable patterns is an ideal candidate for investigating Fourier signal decomposition. They hypothesize that photosynthesis could be a contributing factor to the diurnal signal and then design and run an experiment modeling bioactive streamwater with a blended chloroplast-rich slurry of fresh spinach leaves (spinach soup). They put a recording pH meter in the spinach soup and expose it to high and low levels of light

  6. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: a San Francisco Bay case study.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A Robin; Luoma, Samuel N; Schlekat, Christian E; Doblin, Martina A; Hieb, Kathryn A

    2004-09-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d(-1), respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se >15 microg g(-1) dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts. PMID:15461158

  7. Food web pathway determines how selenium affects aquatic ecosystems: A San francisco Bay case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, A.R.; Luoma, S.N.; Schlekat, C.E.; Doblin, M.A.; Hieb, K.A.

    2004-01-01

    Chemical contaminants disrupt ecosystems, but specific effects may be under-appreciated when poorly known processes such as uptake mechanisms, uptake via diet, food preferences, and food web dynamics are influential. Here we show that a combination of food web structure and the physiology of trace element accumulation explain why some species in San Francisco Bay are threatened by a relatively low level of selenium contamination and some are not. Bivalves and crustacean Zooplankton form the base of two dominant food webs in estuaries. The dominant bivalve Potamocorbula amurensis has a 10-fold slower rate constant of loss for selenium than do common crustaceans such as copepods and the mysid Neomysis mercedis (rate constant of loss, ke = 0.025, 0.155, and 0.25 d-1, respectively). The result is much higher selenium concentrations in the bivalve than in the crustaceans. Stable isotope analyses show that this difference is propagated up the respective food webs in San Francisco Bay. Several predators of bivalves have tissue concentrations of selenium that exceed thresholds thought to be associated with teratogenesis or reproductive failure (liver Se > 15 ??g g-1 dry weight). Deformities typical of selenium-induced teratogenesis were observed in one of these species. Concentrations of selenium in tissues of predators of Zooplankton are less than the thresholds. Basic physiological and ecological processes can drive wide differences in exposure and effects among species, but such processes are rarely considered in traditional evaluations of contaminant impacts.

  8. Bioaccumulation of mercury in benthic communities of a river ecosystem affected by mercury mining.

    PubMed

    Zizek, Suzana; Horvat, Milena; Gibicar, Darija; Fajon, Vesna; Toman, Mihael J

    2007-05-15

    The presence of mercury in the river Idrijca (Slovenia) is mainly due to 500 years of mercury mining in this region. In order to understand the cycling of mercury in the Idrijca ecosystem it is crucial to investigate the role of biota. This study is part of an ongoing investigation of mercury biogeochemistry in the river Idrijca, focusing on the accumulation and speciation of mercury in the lower levels of the food chain, namely filamentous algae, periphyton and macroinvertebrates. Mercury analysis and speciation in the biota and in water were performed during the spring, summer and autumn seasons at four locations on the river, representing different degrees of mercury contamination. Total (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) were measured. The results showed that the highest THg concentrations in biota correlate well with THg levels in sediments and water. The level of MeHg is spatially and seasonally variable, showing higher values at the most contaminated sites during the summer and autumn periods. The percentage of Hg as MeHg increases with the trophic level from water (0.1-0.8%), algae (0.5-1.3%), periphyton (1.6-8.8%) to macroinvertebrates (0.1-100%), which indicates active transformation, accumulation and magnification of mercury in the benthic organism of this heavily contaminated torrential river.

  9. A large proportion of North American net ecosystem production is offset by emissions from harvested products, river/stream evasion, and biomass burning.

    PubMed

    Turner, David P; Jacobson, Andrew R; Ritts, William D; Wang, Weile L; Nemani, Ramakrishna

    2013-11-01

    Diagnostic carbon cycle models produce estimates of net ecosystem production (NEP, the balance of net primary production and heterotrophic respiration) by integrating information from (i) satellite-based observations of land surface vegetation characteristics; (ii) distributed meteorological data; and (iii) eddy covariance flux tower observations of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) (used in model parameterization). However, a full bottom-up accounting of NEE (the vertical carbon flux) that is suitable for integration with atmosphere-based inversion modeling also includes emissions from decomposition/respiration of harvested forest and agricultural products, CO2 evasion from streams and rivers, and biomass burning. Here, we produce a daily time step NEE for North America for the year 2004 that includes NEP as well as the additional emissions. This NEE product was run in the forward mode through the CarbonTracker inversion setup to evaluate its consistency with CO2 concentration observations. The year 2004 was climatologically favorable for NEP over North America and the continental total was estimated at 1730 ± 370 TgC yr(-1) (a carbon sink). Harvested product emissions (316 ± 80 TgC yr(-1) ), river/stream evasion (158 ± 50 TgC yr(-1) ), and fire emissions (142 ± 45 TgC yr(-1) ) counteracted a large proportion (35%) of the NEP sink. Geographic areas with strong carbon sinks included Midwest US croplands, and forested regions of the Northeast, Southeast, and Pacific Northwest. The forward mode run with CarbonTracker produced good agreement between observed and simulated wintertime CO2 concentrations aggregated over eight measurement sites around North America, but overestimates of summertime concentrations that suggested an underestimation of summertime carbon uptake. As terrestrial NEP is the dominant offset to fossil fuel emission over North America, a good understanding of its spatial and temporal variation - as well as the fate of the carbon it

  10. Characterizing Zinc Speciation in Soils from a Smelter-Affected Boreal Forest Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Jordan G; Farrell, Richard E; Chen, Ning; Feng, Renfei; Reid, Joel; Peak, Derek

    2016-03-01

    HudBay Minerals, Inc., has mined and/or processed Zn and Cu ore in Flin Flon, MB, Canada, since the 1930s. The boreal forest ecosystem and soil surrounding these facilities have been severely impacted by mixed metal contamination and HSO deposition. Zinc is one of the most prevalent smelter-derived contaminants and has been identified as a key factor that may be limiting revegetation. Metal toxicity is related to both total concentrations and speciation; therefore, X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence mapping were used to characterize Zn speciation in soils throughout the most heavily contaminated areas of the landscape. Zinc speciation was linked to two distinct soil types. Group I soils consist of exposed soils in weathered positions of bedrock outcrops with Zn present primarily as franklinite, a (ZnFeO) spinel mineral. Group II soils are stabilized by an invasive metal-tolerant grass species, with Zn found as a mixture of octahedral (Fe oxides) and tetrahedral Mn oxides) adsorption complexes with a franklinite component. Soil erosion influences Zn speciation through the redistribution of Zn and soil particulates from Group I landscape positions to Group II soils. Despite Group II soils having the highest concentrations of CaCl-extractable Zn, they support metal-tolerant plant growth. The metal-tolerant plants are probably preferentially colonizing these areas due to better soil and nutrient conditions as a result of soil deposition from upslope Group I areas. Zinc concentration and speciation appears to not influence the colonization by metal-tolerant grasses, but the overall soil properties and erosion effects prevent the revegetation by native boreal forest species. PMID:27065416

  11. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    PubMed

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed.

  12. Sediment and nutrient delivery from thermokarst features in the foothills of the North Slope, Alaska: Potential impacts on headwater stream ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowden, W.B.; Gooseff, M.N.; Balser, A.; Green, A.; Peterson, B.J.; Bradford, J.

    2008-01-01

    the Arctic foothills accelerates thermokarst formation, there may be substantial and wide-spread impacts on arctic stream ecosystems that are currently poorly understood. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  13. Land use/land cover and scale influences on in-stream nitrogen uptake kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covino, Tim; McGlynn, Brian; McNamara, Rebecca

    2012-06-01

    Land use/land cover change often leads to increased nutrient loading to streams; however, its influence on stream ecosystem nutrient transport remains poorly understood. Given the deleterious impacts elevated nutrient loading can have on aquatic ecosystems, it is imperative to improve understanding of nutrient retention capacities across stream scales and watershed development gradients. We performed 17 nutrient addition experiments on six streams across the West Fork Gallatin Watershed, Montana, USA, to quantify nitrogen uptake kinetics and retention dynamics across stream sizes (first to fourth order) and along a watershed development gradient. We observed that stream nitrogen (N) uptake kinetics and spiraling parameters varied across streams of different development intensity and scale. In more developed watersheds we observed a fertilization affect. This fertilization affect was evident as increased ash-free dry mass, chlorophylla, and ambient and maximum uptake rates in developed as compared to undeveloped streams. Ash-free dry mass, chlorophylla, and the number of structures in a subwatershed were significantly correlated to nutrient spiraling and kinetic parameters, while ambient and average annual N concentrations were not. Additionally, increased maximum uptake capacities in developed streams contributed to low in-stream nutrient concentrations during the growing season, and helped maintain watershed export at low levels during base flow. Our results indicate that land use/land cover change can enhance in-stream uptake of limiting nutrients and highlight the need for improved understanding of the watershed dynamics that control nutrient export across scales and development intensities for mitigation and protection of aquatic ecosystems.

  14. Thinking beyond the Bioreactor Box: Incorporating Stream Ecology into Edge-of-Field Nitrate Management.

    PubMed

    Goeller, Brandon C; Febria, Catherine M; Harding, Jon S; McIntosh, Angus R

    2016-05-01

    Around the world, artificially drained agricultural lands are significant sources of reactive nitrogen to stream ecosystems, creating substantial stream health problems. One management strategy is the deployment of denitrification enhancement tools. Here, we evaluate the factors affecting the potential of denitrifying bioreactors to improve stream health and ecosystem services. The performance of bioreactors and the structure and functioning of stream biotic communities are linked by environmental parameters like dissolved oxygen and nitrate-nitrogen concentrations, dissolved organic carbon availability, flow and temperature regimes, and fine sediment accumulations. However, evidence of bioreactors' ability to improve waterway health and ecosystem services is lacking. To improve the potential of bioreactors to enhance desirable stream ecosystem functioning, future assessments of field-scale bioreactors should evaluate the influences of bioreactor performance on ecological indicators such as primary production, organic matter processing, stream metabolism, and invertebrate and fish assemblage structure and function. These stream health impact assessments should be conducted at ecologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Bioreactors have great potential to make significant contributions to improving water quality, stream health, and ecosystem services if they are tailored to site-specific conditions and implemented strategically with land-based and stream-based mitigation tools within watersheds. This will involve combining economic, logistical, and ecological information in their implementation.

  15. Thinking beyond the Bioreactor Box: Incorporating Stream Ecology into Edge-of-Field Nitrate Management.

    PubMed

    Goeller, Brandon C; Febria, Catherine M; Harding, Jon S; McIntosh, Angus R

    2016-05-01

    Around the world, artificially drained agricultural lands are significant sources of reactive nitrogen to stream ecosystems, creating substantial stream health problems. One management strategy is the deployment of denitrification enhancement tools. Here, we evaluate the factors affecting the potential of denitrifying bioreactors to improve stream health and ecosystem services. The performance of bioreactors and the structure and functioning of stream biotic communities are linked by environmental parameters like dissolved oxygen and nitrate-nitrogen concentrations, dissolved organic carbon availability, flow and temperature regimes, and fine sediment accumulations. However, evidence of bioreactors' ability to improve waterway health and ecosystem services is lacking. To improve the potential of bioreactors to enhance desirable stream ecosystem functioning, future assessments of field-scale bioreactors should evaluate the influences of bioreactor performance on ecological indicators such as primary production, organic matter processing, stream metabolism, and invertebrate and fish assemblage structure and function. These stream health impact assessments should be conducted at ecologically relevant spatial and temporal scales. Bioreactors have great potential to make significant contributions to improving water quality, stream health, and ecosystem services if they are tailored to site-specific conditions and implemented strategically with land-based and stream-based mitigation tools within watersheds. This will involve combining economic, logistical, and ecological information in their implementation. PMID:27136152

  16. REACH-SCALE GEOMORPHOLOGY AFFECTS ORGANIC MATTER AND CONSUMER Ä 13C IN A FORESTED PIEDMONT STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated seasonal (spring, autumn) and spatial variation of stream organic matter and consumer δ 13C in a Piedmont stream. Sites were sampled along a continuum and fit into two geomorphic categories: high-gradient, rock-bed ("rock") or low-gradient, sand-bed...

  17. African dust carries microbes across the ocean: are they affecting human and ecosystem health?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Griffin, Dale W.

    2003-01-01

    Atmospheric transport of dust from northwest Africa to the western Atlantic Ocean region may be responsible for a number of environmental hazards, including the demise of Caribbean corals; red tides; amphibian diseases; increased occurrence of asthma in humans; and oxygen depletion (eutrophication) in estuaries. Studies of satellite images suggest that hundreds of millions of tons of dust are trans-ported annually at relatively low altitudes across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and southeastern United States. The dust emanates from the expanding Sahara/Sahel desert region in Africa and carries a wide variety of bacteria and fungi. The U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Spaceflight Center, is conducting a study to identify microbes--bacteria, fungi, viruses--transported across the Atlantic in African soil dust. Each year, millions of tons of desert dust blow off the west African coast and ride the trade winds across the ocean, affecting the entire Caribbean basin, as well as the southeastern United States. Of the dust reaching the U.S., Florida receives about 50 percent, while the rest may range as far north as Maine or as far west as Colorado. The dust storms can be tracked by satellite and take about one week to cross the Atlantic.

  18. Using the tracer-dilution discharge method to develop streamflow records for ice-affected streams in Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Capesius, Joseph P.; Sullivan, Joseph R.; O'Neill, Gregory B.; Williams, Cory A.

    2005-01-01

    Accurate ice-affected streamflow records are difficult to obtain for several reasons, which makes the management of instream-flow water rights in the wintertime a challenging endeavor. This report documents a method to improve ice-affected streamflow records for two gaging stations in Colorado. In January and February 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Colorado Water Conservation Board, conducted an experiment using a sodium chloride tracer to measure streamflow under ice cover by the tracer-dilution discharge method. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of obtaining accurate ice-affected streamflow records by using a sodium chloride tracer that was injected into the stream. The tracer was injected at two gaging stations once per day for approximately 20 minutes for 25 days. Multiple-parameter water-quality sensors at the two gaging stations monitored background and peak chloride concentrations. These data were used to determine discharge at each site. A comparison of the current-meter streamflow record to the tracer-dilution streamflow record shows different levels of accuracy and precision of the tracer-dilution streamflow record at the two sites. At the lower elevation and warmer site, Brandon Ditch near Whitewater, the tracer-dilution method overestimated flow by an average of 14 percent, but this average is strongly biased by outliers. At the higher elevation and colder site, Keystone Gulch near Dillon, the tracer-dilution method experienced problems with the tracer solution partially freezing in the injection line. The partial freezing of the tracer contributed to the tracer-dilution method underestimating flow by 52 percent at Keystone Gulch. In addition, a tracer-pump-reliability test was conducted to test how accurately the tracer pumps can discharge the tracer solution in conditions similar to those used at the gaging stations. Although the pumps were reliable and consistent throughout the 25-day study period

  19. Assessing Stream Ecosystem Metabolism and Nitrate Utilization at Reduced Nitrate Levels Using a Chamber-Based Approach: Looking Below, Scaling Up, and Thinking Inside the Box

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reijo, C. J.; Cohen, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    As nitrate levels in lotic systems have increased, nutrient reduction strategies have become the centerpiece of water quality standards to protect and restore stream ecosystems. While reducing anthropogenic nitrate (NO3) loads has many positive effects, we lack a fundamental understanding of how lotic systems respond to changing concentrations and no methods exist to characterize nutrient uptake behavior below ambient levels. Therefore, it is difficult to predict whether nutrient reductions will meet management goals. To fill this knowledge gap, we developed a chamber-based method which allows characterization of NO3 utilization along the two major uptake pathways at reduced NO3 levels. The chamber blocks flow by insertion into upper sediments but allows light in and sediment-water-air interactions to occur. At Gum Slough Springs, Florida, high-resolution in-situ sensors measured water quality while NO3 reduced from ambient levels (1.40 mg N/L) to below regulatory thresholds (ca. 0.20 mg N/L) within one week. Daytime NO3 uptake, resulting from both plant uptake and denitrification, was consistently greater than nighttime uptake, which is denitrification alone. Using this method, we compared NO3 uptake rates (UNO3) and gross primary production (GPP) across three vegetative regimes (i.e. submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), SAV with epiphytic algae, and algae alone) and related GPP estimates from the chamber to reach scale. Results showed that UNO3 and GPP were greatest in SAV, GPP was negatively correlated to [NO3] in algae, denitrification rates did not vary by vegetation type, and chamber GPP (e.g. 6-8 g O2/m2/day in SAV) was comparable to reach-scale estimates (6-12 g O2/m2/day). Our results suggest UNO3 and GPP differ by vegetation regimes, GPP scales from chamber to reach level, algal presence potentially reduces GPP, and a lack of nutrient limitation even at low [NO3]. Current work includes replicating measurements across systems as well as refining the

  20. Estimating benthic secondary production from aquatic insect emergence in streams affected by mountaintop removal coal mining, West Virginia USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mountaintop removal and valley fill (MTR/VF) coal mining recountours the Appalachian landscape, buries headwater stream channels, and degrades downstream water quality. The goal of this study was to compare benthic community production estimates, based on seasonal insect emergen...

  1. A Screening-Level Approach for Comparing Risks Affecting Aquatic Ecosystem Services over Socio-Environmental Gradients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, T. C.; Conde, D.; Villamizar, S. R.; Reid, B.; Escobar, J.; Rusak, J.; Hoyos, N.; Scordo, F.; Perillo, G. M.; Piccolo, M. C.; Zilio, M.; Velez, M.

    2015-12-01

    Assessing risks to aquatic ecosystems services (ES) is challenging and time-consuming, and effective strategies for prioritizing more detailed assessment efforts are needed. We propose a screening-level risk analysis (SRA) approach that scales ES risk using socioeconomic and environmental indices to capture anthropic and climatic pressures, as well as the capacity for institutional responses to those pressures. The method considers ES within a watershed context, and uses expert input to prioritize key services and the associated pressures that threaten them. The SRA approach focuses on estimating ES risk affect factors, which are the sum of the intensity factors for all hazards or pressures affecting the ES. We estimate the pressure intensity factors in a novel manner, basing them on the nation's (i) human development (proxied by Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, IHDI), (ii) environmental regulatory and monitoring state (Environmental Performance Index, EPI) and (iii) the current level of water stress in the watershed (baseline water stress, BWS). Anthropic intensity factors for future conditions are derived from the baseline values based on the nation's 10-year trend in IHDI and EPI; ES risks in nations with stronger records of change are rewarded more/penalized less in estimates for good/poor future management scenarios. Future climatic intensity factors are tied to water stress estimates based on two general circulation model (GCM) outcomes. We demonstrate the method for an international array of six sites representing a wide range of socio-environmental settings. The outcomes illustrate novel consequences of the scaling scheme. Risk affect factors may be greater in a highly developed region under intense climatic pressure, or in less well-developed regions due to human factors (e.g., poor environmental records). As a screening-level tool, the SRA approach offers considerable promise for ES risk comparisons among watersheds and regions so that

  2. Landuse legacies and small streams: Identifying relationships between historical land use and contemporary stream conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maloney, K.O.; Feminella, J.W.; Mitchell, R.M.; Miller, S.A.; Mulholland, P.J.; Houser, J.N.

    2008-01-01

    The concept of landscape legacies has been examined extensively in terrestrial ecosystems and has led to a greater understanding of contemporary ecosystem processes. However, although stream ecosystems are tightly coupled with their catchments and, thus, probably are affected strongly by historical catchment conditions, few studies have directly examined the importance of landuse legacies on streams. We examined relationships between historical land use (1944) and contemporary (2000-2003) stream physical, chemical, and biological conditions after accounting for the influences of contemporary land use (1999) and natural landscape (catchment size) variation in 12 small streams at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. Most stream variables showed strong relationships with contemporary land use and catchment size; however, after accounting for these factors, residual variation in many variables remained significantly related to historical land use. Residual variation in benthic particulate organic matter, diatom density, % of diatoms in Eunotia spp., fish density in runs, and whole-stream gross primary productivity correlated negatively, whereas streamwater pH correlated positively, with residual variation in fraction of disturbed land in catchments in 1944 (i.e., bare ground and unpaved road cover). Residual variation in % recovering land (i.e., early successional vegetation) in 1944 was correlated positively with residual variation in streambed instability, a macroinvertebrate biotic index, and fish richness, but correlated negatively with residual variation in most benthic macroinvertebrate metrics examined (e.g., Chironomidae and total richness, Shannon diversity). In contrast, residual variation in whole-stream respiration rates was not explained by historical land use. Our results suggest that historical land use continues to influence important physical and chemical variables in these streams, and in turn, probably influences associated biota. Beyond providing insight

  3. Optimal advanced credit releases in ecosystem service markets.

    PubMed

    BenDor, Todd K; Guo, Tianshu; Yates, Andrew J

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystem service markets are popular policy tools for ecosystem protection. Advanced credit releases are an important factor affecting the supply side of ecosystem markets. Under an advanced credit release policy, regulators give ecosystem suppliers a fraction of the total ecosystem credits generated by a restoration project before it is verified that the project actually achieves the required ecological thresholds. In spite of their prominent role in ecosystem markets, there is virtually no regulatory or research literature on the proper design of advanced credit release policies. Using U.S. aquatic ecosystem markets as an example, we develop a principal-agent model of the behavior of regulators and wetland/stream mitigation bankers to determine and explore the optimal degree of advance credit release. The model highlights the tension between regulators' desire to induce market participation, while at the same time ensuring that bankers successfully complete ecological restoration. Our findings suggest several simple guidelines for strengthening advanced credit release policy.

  4. Optimal Advanced Credit Releases in Ecosystem Service Markets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    BenDor, Todd K.; Guo, Tianshu; Yates, Andrew J.

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystem service markets are popular policy tools for ecosystem protection. Advanced credit releases are an important factor affecting the supply side of ecosystem markets. Under an advanced credit release policy, regulators give ecosystem suppliers a fraction of the total ecosystem credits generated by a restoration project before it is verified that the project actually achieves the required ecological thresholds. In spite of their prominent role in ecosystem markets, there is virtually no regulatory or research literature on the proper design of advanced credit release policies. Using U.S. aquatic ecosystem markets as an example, we develop a principal-agent model of the behavior of regulators and wetland/stream mitigation bankers to determine and explore the optimal degree of advance credit release. The model highlights the tension between regulators' desire to induce market participation, while at the same time ensuring that bankers successfully complete ecological restoration. Our findings suggest several simple guidelines for strengthening advanced credit release policy.

  5. Ecosystem experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Mooney, H.A.; Medina, E.; Schindler, D.W.; Schulze, E.D.; Walker, B.H.

    1991-01-01

    Large scale, human-induced modifications to terrestrial and hydrological systems have been a major factor in contributing to global change. The objective of this book is to explore the potential of ecosystem experimentation as a tool to understanding and predicting more precisely the consequences of our changing biosphere. The papers in this book are the result of two SCOPE workshops to evaluated understanding of the response of ecosystems to large scale perturbations and to design ecosystem experiments to study the impace of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on ecosystem processes. The general topics addressed include the following: how changes in driving variables affect different biotic interactions within ecosystems; the human role in modifying forest structure and the resulting ecosystem processes; the role of ecosystem experiments in the study of controlling factors such as hydrological controls, temperature, and biotic controlles; analysis of ecosystem dynamics as a complex and chaotic system; role of ecosystem experiments in the study of the impact of acid deposition; role of ecosystem experimentation in the study of global change impace on the biosphere and the biospheric feedbacks to global environmental change.

  6. MODELING MERCURY IN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Mercury is a classic multimedia pollutant. Natural and anthropogenic emissions are driven by a complicated set of transport and transformation reactions operating on a variety of scales in the atmosphere, landscape, surface water, and biota. In the past 15 years, surface water me...

  7. Factors Affecting Trophic Control of Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning in Experimental Mesocosms of Seagrass (Zostera marina L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lefcheck, J.; Duffy, J.

    2008-12-01

    Nutrient loading of coastal and estuarine waters threatens seagrass communities by promoting the growth of micro- and macroalgae, which then reduce the availability of light and nutrients. However, populations of invertebrate mesograzers are able to mitigate the negative impact of eutrophication through top-down control. We performed a factorial mesocosm experiment to examine the interactive relationships between light, nutrients, and mesograzer presence in structuring experimental ecosystems of eelgrass (Zostera marina). We found that mesograzer presence strongly reduced epiphytic algal biomass in every case, which remains consistent with previous mesocosm studies. We also observed a synergistic light-by-nutrient interaction that enhanced both epiphyte biomass and mesograzer abundance. The timing of this relationship is suggestive of weaker bottom-up control. Unlike previous studies, we found that light alone rarely affected either epiphyte biomass or mesograzer abundance. We believe that this result may be due to a combination of macroalgal shading and persistent grazing. Further processing of primary and secondary producer biomasses and elemental ratios, as well as the completion of feeding assays to gauge mesograzer feeding rates on different types of algae, will serve to reinforce these conclusions and to better define the relationship between these factors.

  8. The Ecohydrological Consequences of Woody Plant Encroachment: How Accessibility to Deep Soil Water Resources Affects Ecosystem Carbon and Water Exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, R. L.; Huxman, T. E.; Barron-Gafford, G.; Jenerette, D.; Young, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grassland systems, a process that has increased rapidly over the last century, has potentially broad ecohydrological consequences by affecting the way ecosystems use water and cycle carbon. This study examines the influence of precipitation- and groundwater-derived water availability by comparing eddy covariance measurements of water vapor and carbon dioxide fluxes over a riparian grassland, shrubland, and woodland, and an upland grassland site in southeastern Arizona USA. Compared to the upland grassland, the riparian sites exhibited greater net carbon uptake (NEP) and higher evapotranspiration (ET) across a longer portion of the year. Among the riparian sites, however, the grassland was less able to take advantage of the stable groundwater supply. Increasing woody plant density facilitated greater water and carbon exchange that became increasingly decoupled from incident precipitation (P). How groundwater accessibility affected NEP was more complex than ET. Respiration (Reco) costs were higher for the riparian grassland so, while it had a similar ET and gross carbon uptake (GEP) to the shrubland, its NEP was substantially less. Also, riparian grassland fluxes were much more variable due to flooding that occurred at the site, which could stimulate or inhibit NEP. Woodland NEP was largest but surprisingly similar to the less mature and dense shrubland even while having much greater GEP. Woodland NEP responded negatively to P, due to the stimulation of Reco likely due to greater amounts of aboveground and soil carbon. With many areas of the world experiencing woody plants encroachment, encroachment into areas where there are additional deep soil water sources, such as in riparian settings or in areas of deep soil moisture recharge, will likely increase carbon sequestration but at the expense of higher water use.

  9. Manipulating instructions strategically affects reliance on the ventral-lexical reading stream: converging evidence from neuroimaging and reaction time.

    PubMed

    Cummine, Jacqueline; Gould, Layla; Zhou, Crystal; Hrybouski, Stan; Siddiqi, Zohaib; Chouinard, Brea; Borowsky, Ron

    2013-05-01

    Neurobiology of reading research has yet to explore whether reliance on the ventral-lexical stream during word reading can be enhanced by the instructed reading strategy, or whether it is impervious to such strategies. We examined Instructions: name all vs. name words (based on spelling), Word Type: regular words vs. exception words, and Word Frequency (WF) in print (log10 HAL WF) in an experiment while measuring fMRI BOLD and overt naming reaction time (RT) simultaneously. Instructions to name words increased overall reliance on the ventral-lexical stream, as measured by visible BOLD activation and the WF effect on RT, with regular words showing the greatest effects as a function of this reading strategy. Furthermore, the pattern of joint effects of these variables on RT supports the notion of cascaded, not parallel, processing. These results can be accommodated by dual-stream cascaded models of reading, and present a challenge to single-mechanism parallel processing models.

  10. Instream wood recruitment, channel complexity, and their relationship to stream ecology in forested headwater streams under alternative stable states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livers, B.; Wohl, E.

    2015-12-01

    Human alteration to forests has had lasting effects on stream channels worldwide. Such land use changes affect how wood enters and is stored in streams as individual pieces and as logjams. Changes in wood recruitment affect the complexity and benefits wood can provide to the stream environment, such as zones of flow separation that store fine sediment and organic matter, increased nutrient processing, and greater habitat potential, which can enhance biota and cascade through stream-riparian ecosystems. Previous research in our study area shows that modern headwater streams flowing through old-growth, unmanaged forests have more wood than streams in young, managed forests, but does not explicitly evaluate how wood affects channel complexity or local ecology. 'Managed' refers to forests previously or currently exposed to human alteration. Alteration has long since ceased in some areas, but reduced wood loads in managed streams persist. Our primary objective was to quantify stream complexity metrics, with instream wood as a mediator, on streams across a gradient of management and disturbance histories in order to examine legacy effects of human alteration to forests. Data collected in the Southern Rocky Mountains include 24 2nd to 3rd order subalpine streams categorized into: old-growth unmanaged; younger, naturally disturbed unmanaged; and younger managed. We assessed instream wood loads and logjams and evaluated how they relate to channel complexity using a number of metrics, such as standard deviation of bed and banks, volume of pools, ratios of stream to valley lengths and stream to valley area, and diversity of substrate, gradient, and morphology. Preliminary results show that channel complexity is directly related to instream wood loads and is greatest in streams in old-growth. Related research in the field area indicates that streams with greater wood loads also have increased nutrient processing and greater abundance and diversity of aquatic insect predators.

  11. Manipulating Instructions Strategically Affects Reliance on the Ventral-Lexical Reading Stream: Converging Evidence from Neuroimaging and Reaction Time

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cummine, Jacqueline; Gould, Layla; Zhou, Crystal; Hrybouski, Stan; Siddiqi, Zohaib; Chouinard, Brea; Borowsky, Ron

    2013-01-01

    Neurobiology of reading research has yet to explore whether reliance on the ventral-lexical stream during word reading can be enhanced by the instructed reading strategy, or whether it is impervious to such strategies. We examined Instructions: "name all" vs. "name words" (based on spelling), Word Type: "regular words" vs. "exception words", and…

  12. STREAM BIOASSESSMENTS AND HOW TAXONOMIC RESOLUTION AFFECTS OUR VIEW OF THE WORLD: AN EXAMPLE FROM THE MID-ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    During late spring 1993-1995, the USEPA's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) sampled wadeable streams in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. for a variety of physical, chemical, and biological indicators of environmental condition. A representative set of abou...

  13. Southwest Region Threatened, Endangered, and At-Risk Species Workshop: Managing Within Highly Variable Environments Hydrology and Ecology of Intermittent Stream and Dry Wash Ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ephemeral (dry washes) and intermittent streams make up approximately 59% of all streams in the U.S. (excluding Alaska), and over 81% in the arid and semi-arid Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and California) according to the National Hydrography Dataset. T...

  14. A direct approach for quantifying stream shading

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Excessive stream water temperature causes thermal stress in fish and invertebrates, decreases dissolved oxygen, and encourages bacterial and algal growth. Solar radiation affects stream temperature. Shade cast by riparian vegetation reduces thermal inputs to stream water. Stream shading standards...

  15. In situ bioassays of brook trout (salvelinus fontinalis) and blacknose dace (rhinichthys atratulus) in adirondack streams affected by episodic acidification

    SciTech Connect

    Simonin, H.A.; Kretser, W.A.; Bath, D.W.; Olson, M.; Gallagher, J.

    1993-01-01

    In situ bioassays were conducted using native Adirondack brook trout and blacknose dace in four headwater streams. Conductivity, pH, temperature, and stage height were monitored continuously, and water samples for laboratory analysis were collected during hydrologic episodes. Fish survived well during baseflow conditions, but during periods of spring snowmelt or large precipitation events, survival was poor. Bioassay fish that had been in the stream 15-24 d survived episodes better than fish that had either not become acclimatized or recovered from handling. Duration of exposure to acidic episodes was critical. Extended periods of poor water quality resulted in fish mortality and may be more important to native populations than short acidic episodes.

  16. Watershed geomorphology modifies the temperature sensitivity of aquatic ecosystem metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jankowski, K. J.; Schindler, D.

    2015-12-01

    How carbon cycles are regulated by temperature remains a substantial uncertainty in our understanding of how watersheds will respond to ongoing climate change. Aquatic ecosystems are significant components of carbon flux to the atmosphere and ocean, yet we have limited understanding of how changing thermal regimes will alter rates of ecosystem metabolic processes, and, therefore, aquatic contributions to carbon cycles at watershed to global scales. Watershed geomorphology controls the landscape-scale distribution of organic material that can form the metabolic base of aquatic ecosystems, which will likely affect the temperature sensitivity of aquatic ecosystem metabolism. Across 23 streams in a boreal river basin, we estimated how temperature sensitivity of ecosystem respiration (ER), an important component of the aquatic C cycle, varied among streams with different watershed characteristics. We found that geomorphic conditions imposed strong ultimate controls on temperature sensitivity: ER in streams draining flat watersheds was much more sensitive to temperature than streams draining steeper watersheds. Further, we show that the link between watershed geomorphology and temperature sensitivity was related to changes in the quality of carbon substrates across the gradient in watershed slope. These results suggest that geomorphic conditions will ultimately control how carbon processing responds to warming climate, thereby affecting carbon transport and storage, and likely food web responses, in river networks.

  17. Factors affecting distribution of wood, detritus, and sediment in headwater streams draining managed young-growth red alder - Conifer forests in southeast Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gomi, T.; Johnson, A.C.; Deal, R.L.; Hennon, P.E.; Orlikowska, E.H.; Wipfli, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    Factors (riparian stand condition, management regimes, and channel properties) affecting distributions of wood, detritus (leaves and branches), and sediment were examined in headwater streams draining young-growth red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) - conifer riparian forests (40 years old) remained in channels and provided sites for sediment and organic matter storage. Despite various alder-conifer mixtures and past harvesting effects, the abundance of large wood, fine wood, and detritus accumulations significantly decreased with increasing channel bank-full width (0.5-3.5 m) along relatively short channel distances (up to 700 m). Changes in wood, detritus, and sediment accumulations together with changes in riparian stand characteristics create spatial and temporal variability of in-channel conditions in headwater systems. A component of alder within young-growth riparian forests may benefit both wood production and biological recovery in disturbed headwater stream channels. ?? 2006 NRC.

  18. A Study on Estimation on Flood Warning Trigger Rainfall in medium and small Stream Affected by Urban Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Youngseok, Song; Moojong, Park; JungHo, Lee; HeeSup, Lee

    2013-04-01

    As extreme floods occur frequently in recent years due to global climate changes, an in sudden local flooding of great volume and short duration is becoming the significant danger and loss of life and property in the Korean Peninsula as well as most parts of the world. The desire for living without hazardous damages grows these days, the city strategy to make the safer community has become an issue. Previously most of flood prevention efforts have been made for relatively large watersheds near to channel flow. However, as economical development and the expansion of city near medium and small stream, human casualty and property by flood occurs frequently. Therefore, to reduce the damage of human lives and property by flood, we develop an assessment method for flood warning trigger rainfall considering urban effect. Considering complex land use, HEC-HMS is used for rural area and SWMM is adopted for sewer networks runoff. And relationship between runoff and stream water level, HEC-RAS is accompanied with runoff results. Proposed flood warning trigger rainfall assessment method shows good agreement with gauged data and could be used for another case to mitigate damage. Acknowledgement: "This research was supported by a grant [NEMA-NH-2011-45] from the Natural Hazard Mitigation Research Group, National Emergency Management Agency of Korea." Keyword: HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, critical precipitation, medium and small stream

  19. pH dependence of iron photoreduction in a rocky mountain stream affected by acid mine drainage

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKnight, Diane M.; Kimball, B.A.; Runkel, R.L.

    2001-01-01

    The redox speciation of dissolved iron and the transport of iron in acidic, metal-enriched streams is controlled by precipitation and dissolution of iron hydroxides, by photoreduction of dissolved ferric iron and hydrous iron oxides, and by oxidation of the resulting dissolved ferrous iron. We examined the pH dependence of these processes in an acidic mine-drainage stream, St Kevin Gulch, Colorado, by experimentally increasing the pH of the stream from about 4.0 to 6.5 and following the downstream changes in iron species. We used a solute transport model with variable flow to evaluate biogeochemical processes controlling downstream transport. We found that at pH 6.4 there was a rapid and large initial loss of ferrous iron concurrent with the precipitation of aluminium hydroxide. Below this reach, ferrous iron was conservative during the morning but there was a net downstream loss of ferrous iron around noon and in the afternoon. Calculation of net oxidation rates shows that the noontime loss rate was generally much faster than rates for the ferrous iron oxidation at pH 6 predicted by Singer and Stumm (1970. Science 167: 1121). The maintenance of ferrous iron concentrations in the morning is explained by the photoreduction of photoreactive ferric species, which are then depleted by noon. Copyright ?? 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. Methods for Processing and Summarizing Time-Series Temperature Data Collected as Part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program Studies on the Effects of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cuffney, Thomas F.; Brightbill, Robin A.

    2008-01-01

    Temperature data and summary statistics are presented for 256 sites in 9 metropolitan areas as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program studies of the effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems. The computer program (GRAN) that was developed to derive uniform data granularity and calculate temperature statistics (means, standard deviations, rates of change, degree days) is described, as are the methods used to estimate missing daily mean temperatures, degree days (annual and summer periods), and 7-day running averages of daily mean temperatures.

  1. The light: nutrient ratio in lakes: the balance of energy and materials affects ecosystem structure and process.

    PubMed

    Sterner, R W; Elser, J J; Fee, E J; Guildford, S J; Chrzanowski, T H

    1997-12-01

    The amounts of solar energy and materials are two of the chief factors determining ecosystem structure and process. Here, we examine the relative balance of light and phosphorus in a set of freshwater pelagic ecosystems. We calculated a ratio of light: phosphorus by putting mixed-layer mean light in the numerator and total P concentration in the denominator. This light: phosphorus ratio was a good predictor of the C:P ratio of particulate matter (seston), with a positive correlation demonstrated between these two ratios. We argue that the balance between light and nutrients controls "nutrient use efficiency" at the base of the food web in lakes. Thus, when light energy is high relative to nutrient availability, the base of the food web is carbon rich and phosphorus poor. In the opposite case, where light is relatively less available compared to nutrients, the base of the food web is relatively P rich. The significance of this relationship lies in the fact that the composition of sestonic material is known to influence a large number of ecosystem processes such as secondary production, nutrient cycling, and (we hypothesize) the relative strength of microbial versus grazing processes. Using the central result of increased C:P ratio with an increased light: phosphorus ratio, we make specific predictions of how ecosystem structure and process should vary with light and nutrient balance. Among these predictions, we suggest that lake ecosystems with low light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously carbon or energy limited, while ecosystems with high light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously limited by phosphorus. Our results provide an alternative perspective to the question of what determines nutrient use efficiency in ecosystems.

  2. Shifts in leaf litter breakdown along a forest-pasture-urban gradient in Andean streams.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez-Armijos, Carlos; Rausche, Sirkka; Cueva, Augusta; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Aminael; Espinosa, Carlos; Breuer, Lutz

    2016-07-01

    Tropical montane ecosystems of the Andes are critically threatened by a rapid land-use change which can potentially affect stream variables, aquatic communities, and ecosystem processes such as leaf litter breakdown. However, these effects have not been sufficiently investigated in the Andean region and at high altitude locations in general. Here, we studied the influence of land use (forest-pasture-urban) on stream physico-chemical variables (e.g., water temperature, nutrient concentration, and pH), aquatic communities (macroinvertebrates and aquatic fungi) and leaf litter breakdown rates in Andean streams (southern Ecuador), and how variation in those stream physico-chemical variables affect macroinvertebrates and fungi related to leaf litter breakdown. We found that pH, water temperature, and nutrient concentration increased along the land-use gradient. Macroinvertebrate communities were significantly different between land uses. Shredder richness and abundance were lower in pasture than forest sites and totally absent in urban sites, and fungal richness and biomass were higher in forest sites than in pasture and urban sites. Leaf litter breakdown rates became slower as riparian land use changed from natural to anthropogenically disturbed conditions and were largely determined by pH, water temperature, phosphate concentration, fungal activity, and single species of leaf-shredding invertebrates. Our findings provide evidence that leaf litter breakdown in Andean streams is sensitive to riparian land-use change, with urban streams being the most affected. In addition, this study highlights the role of fungal biomass and shredder species (Phylloicus; Trichoptera and Anchytarsus; Coleoptera) on leaf litter breakdown in Andean streams and the contribution of aquatic fungi in supporting this ecosystem process when shredders are absent or present low abundance in streams affected by urbanization. Finally, we summarize important implications in terms of managing of

  3. Shifts in leaf litter breakdown along a forest-pasture-urban gradient in Andean streams.

    PubMed

    Iñiguez-Armijos, Carlos; Rausche, Sirkka; Cueva, Augusta; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Aminael; Espinosa, Carlos; Breuer, Lutz

    2016-07-01

    Tropical montane ecosystems of the Andes are critically threatened by a rapid land-use change which can potentially affect stream variables, aquatic communities, and ecosystem processes such as leaf litter breakdown. However, these effects have not been sufficiently investigated in the Andean region and at high altitude locations in general. Here, we studied the influence of land use (forest-pasture-urban) on stream physico-chemical variables (e.g., water temperature, nutrient concentration, and pH), aquatic communities (macroinvertebrates and aquatic fungi) and leaf litter breakdown rates in Andean streams (southern Ecuador), and how variation in those stream physico-chemical variables affect macroinvertebrates and fungi related to leaf litter breakdown. We found that pH, water temperature, and nutrient concentration increased along the land-use gradient. Macroinvertebrate communities were significantly different between land uses. Shredder richness and abundance were lower in pasture than forest sites and totally absent in urban sites, and fungal richness and biomass were higher in forest sites than in pasture and urban sites. Leaf litter breakdown rates became slower as riparian land use changed from natural to anthropogenically disturbed conditions and were largely determined by pH, water temperature, phosphate concentration, fungal activity, and single species of leaf-shredding invertebrates. Our findings provide evidence that leaf litter breakdown in Andean streams is sensitive to riparian land-use change, with urban streams being the most affected. In addition, this study highlights the role of fungal biomass and shredder species (Phylloicus; Trichoptera and Anchytarsus; Coleoptera) on leaf litter breakdown in Andean streams and the contribution of aquatic fungi in supporting this ecosystem process when shredders are absent or present low abundance in streams affected by urbanization. Finally, we summarize important implications in terms of managing of

  4. Does Initial Leaf Chemistry Affect the Contribution of Insects, Fungi, and Bacteria to Leaf Breakdown in a Lowland Tropical Stream?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardon, M.; Pringle, C. M.

    2005-05-01

    We examined effects of initial leaf chemistry of six common riparian species on the relative contribution of fungi, bacteria, and invertebrates to leaf breakdown in a lowland stream in Costa Rica. We hypothesized that fungi and bacteria would contribute more to the breakdown of species with low concentrations of secondary (tannins and phenolics) and structural (cellulose and lignin) compounds, while invertebrates would be more important in the processing of species with high concentrations of secondary and structural compounds. We incubated single species leaf bags of six common riparian species, representing a range in secondary and structural compounds, in a third-order stream at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica. We measured leaf chemistry during the breakdown process. We determined fungal biomass using ergosterol methods, bacteria using DAPI counts, and invertebrate biomass using length-weight regressions. We then used biomass estimates for each group to determine their contribution to the overall breakdown process. Breakdown rates ranged from very fast (Trema integerima, k = 0.23 day-1) to slow (Zygia longifolia , k = 0.011 day-1). While analyses are still under way, preliminary results support our initial hypothesis that fungi contribute more to the break down of leaves from tree species with low concentrations of secondary and structural compounds.

  5. Stream microbial diversity in response to environmental changes: review and synthesis of existing research

    PubMed Central

    Zeglin, Lydia H.

    2015-01-01

    The importance of microbial activity to ecosystem function in aquatic ecosystems is well established, but microbial diversity has been less frequently addressed. This review and synthesis of 100s of published studies on stream microbial diversity shows that factors known to drive ecosystem processes, such as nutrient availability, hydrology, metal contamination, contrasting land-use and temperature, also cause heterogeneity in bacterial diversity. Temporal heterogeneity in stream bacterial diversity was frequently observed, reflecting the dynamic nature of both stream ecosystems and microbial community composition. However, within-stream spatial differences in stream bacterial diversity were more commonly observed, driven specifically by different organic matter (OM) compartments. Bacterial phyla showed similar patterns in relative abundance with regard to compartment type across different streams. For example, surface water contained the highest relative abundance of Actinobacteria, while epilithon contained the highest relative abundance of Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. This suggests that contrasting physical and/or nutritional habitats characterized by different stream OM compartment types may select for certain bacterial lineages. When comparing the prevalence of physicochemical effects on stream bacterial diversity, effects of changing metal concentrations were most, while effects of differences in nutrient concentrations were least frequently observed. This may indicate that although changing nutrient concentrations do tend to affect microbial diversity, other environmental factors are more likely to alter stream microbial diversity and function. The common observation of connections between ecosystem process drivers and microbial diversity suggests that microbial taxonomic turnover could mediate ecosystem-scale responses to changing environmental conditions, including both microbial habitat distribution and physicochemical factors. PMID:26042102

  6. Ecotoxicology of tropical marine ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, E.C.; Gassman, N.J.; Firman, J.C.; Richmond, R.H.; Power, E.A.

    1997-01-01

    The negative effects of chemical contaminants on tropical marine ecosystems are of increasing concern as human populations expand adjacent to these communities. Watershed streams and ground water carry a variety of chemicals from agricultural, industrial, and domestic activities, while winds and currents transport pollutants from atmospheric and oceanic sources to these coastal ecosystems. The implications of the limited information available on impacts of chemical stressors on mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs are discussed in the context of ecosystem management and ecological risk assessment. Three classes of pollutants have received attention: heavy metals, petroleum, and synthetic organics. Heavy metals have been detected in all three ecosystems, causing physiological stress, reduced reproductive success, and outright mortality in associated invertebrates and fishes. Oil spills have been responsible for the destruction of entire coastal shallow-water communities, with recovery requiring years. Herbicides are particularly detrimental to mangroves and seagrasses and adversely affect the animal-algal symbioses in corals. Pesticides interfere with chemical cues responsible for key biological processes, including reproduction and recruitment of a variety of organisms. Information is lacking with regard to long-term recovery, indicator species, and biomarkers for tropical communities. Critical areas that are beginning to be addressed include the development of appropriate benchmarks for risk assessment, baseline monitoring criteria, and effective management strategies to protect tropical marine ecosystems in the face of mounting anthropogenic disturbance.

  7. Assessment of Spatial and Temporal Variation of Surface Water Quality in Streams Affected by Coalbed Methane Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chitrakar, S.; Miller, S. N.; Liu, T.; Caffrey, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Water quality data have been collected from three representative stream reaches in a coalbed methane (CBM) development area for over five years to improve the understanding of salt loading in the system. These streams are located within Atlantic Rim development area of the Muddy Creek in south-central Wyoming. Significant development of CBM wells is ongoing in the study area. Three representative sampling stream reaches included the Duck Pond Draw and Cow Creek, which receive co-produced water, and; South Fork Creek, and upstream Cow Creek which do not receive co-produced water. Water samples were assayed for various parameters which included sodium, calcium, magnesium, fluoride, chlorine, nitrate, O-phosphate, sulfate, carbonate, bicarbonates, and other water quality parameters such as pH, conductivity, and TDS. Based on these water quality parameters we have investigated various hydrochemical and geochemical processes responsible for the high variability in water quality in the region. However, effective interpretation of complex databases to understand aforementioned processes has been a challenging task due to the system's complexity. In this work we applied multivariate statistical techniques including cluster analysis (CA), principle component analysis (PCA) and discriminant analysis (DA) to analyze water quality data and identify similarities and differences among our locations. First, CA technique was applied to group the monitoring sites based on the multivariate similarities. Second, PCA technique was applied to identify the prevalent parameters responsible for the variation of water quality in each group. Third, the DA technique was used to identify the most important factors responsible for variation of water quality during low flow season and high flow season. The purpose of this study is to improve the understanding of factors or sources influencing the spatial and temporal variation of water quality. The ultimate goal of this whole research is to

  8. Effect of upstream ponds on stream temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ham, J.; Toran, L.; Cruz, J.

    2006-05-01

    Many tributaries feeding streams are connected to ponds that heat up during summer months; however, the influence of these ponds on receiving stream temperature was not known. Stream temperature affects microfauna and fish habitats in aquatic ecosystems. Three tributaries with headwater ponds exposed to sunlight and one tributary unassociated with a large, upstream pond were selected for study within the Pennypack Creek watershed in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. Temperature loggers were installed in the pond (when applicable), associated tributary, and in the Pennypack Creek up and downstream of its confluence with the tributary. Although diurnal temperature fluctuations were apparent, the study showed no significant differences in temperature up and downstream of tributary discharge to Pennypack Creek. Pond water temperatures were up to 4°C warmer than the Pennypack Creek; however, temperatures downstream and upstream of the tributaries leading out of the ponds were within 1°C of each other.

  9. Coupling a spatio-temporally distributed soil water budget with stream-depletion functions and a groundwater numerical model to constrain stakeholder-driven management of groundwater-dependent ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foglia, Laura; McNally, Alison; Harter, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Excessive groundwater use may significantly impact groundwater dependent ecosystems through increased streamflow depletion, particularly in semi-arid and arid regions. The effects may be seasonal or long-term trends. They may be further exacerbated by climate change. Here, we develop a spatio-temporally distributed soil water budget model and that is coupled with an analytical model for stream depletion from groundwater pumping to assess seasonal impacts of groundwater pumping on streamflow during critical low flow periods. We demonstrate the applicability of the tool for the Scott Valley in Northern California, where protected salmon depend on sufficient summer streamflow, which is impacted by seasonal pumping. In this example, results suggest that increased recharge of snowmelt-driven runoff in the period immediately preceding the critical low streamflow season, and transfer of groundwater pumping during the critical period away from the stream are promising tools to address ecosystem concerns. Comparison to numerical model results suggests that the water mass balance model coupled to an analytical streamflow model provides a potentially powerful tool to build intuitive system knowledge among stakeholders enabling them to creative scenario development. Detailed impacts of management practices are evaluated with fully-three-dimensional groundwater-surface water flow model linked to the soil water budget model. Sensitivity analysis and calibration are performed on the coupled soil water budget - groundwater - surface water model. The results drive data collection efforts and are applied to develop uncertainty analyses for future scenarios.

  10. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

    As the earth system changes in response to human activities, a critical objective is to predict how biogeochemical process rates (e.g. nitrification, decomposition) and ecosystem function (e.g. net ecosystem productivity) will change under future conditions. A particular challenge is that the microbial communities that drive many of these processes are capable of adapting to environmental change in ways that alter ecosystem functioning. Despite evidence that microbes can adapt to temperature, precipitation regimes, and redox fluctuations, microbial communities are typically not optimally adapted to their local environment. For example, temperature optima for growth and enzyme activity are often greater than in situ temperatures in their environment. Here we discuss fundamental constraints on microbial adaptation and suggest specific environments where microbial adaptation to climate change (or lack thereof) is most likely to alter ecosystem functioning. Our framework is based on two principal assumptions. First, there are fundamental ecological trade-offs in microbial community traits that occur across environmental gradients (in time and space). These trade-offs result in shifting of microbial function (e.g. ability to take up resources at low temperature) in response to adaptation of another trait (e.g. limiting maintenance respiration at high temperature). Second, the mechanism and level of microbial community adaptation to changing environmental parameters is a function of the potential rate of change in community composition relative to the rate of environmental change. Together, this framework provides a basis for developing testable predictions about how the rate and degree of microbial adaptation to climate change will alter biogeochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the planet.

  11. Snail bioaccumulation of triclocarban, triclosan, and methyltriclosan in a North Texas, USA, stream affected by wastewater treatment plant runoff.

    PubMed

    Coogan, Melinda A; La Point, Thomas W

    2008-08-01

    Grazing by freshwater snails promotes nutrient turnover in algal communities. Grazed algal compartments may include antimicrobial agents and metabolites, such as triclocarban (TCC), triclosan (TCS), and methyltriclosan (MTCS), which are incompletely removed by wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) processing. The present study quantifies snail bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for TCC, TCS, and MTCS at the outfall of Pecan Creek (TX, USA), the receiving stream for the city of Denton (TX, USA) WWTP. Helisoma trivolvis (Say) is ubiquitous and thrives under standard laboratory conditions, leading to its choice for this bioaccumulation study in conjunction with Cladophora spp. Along with providing substrate for epiphytic growth, Cladophora spp. provide a source of food and shelter for H. trivolvis. After being caged for two weeks, algae and snails were collected from the WWTP outfall, along with water-column samples, and analyzed by isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for TCS and MTCS and by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry for TCC. Algal and snail samples were analyzed before exposure and found to be below practical quantitation limits for all antimicrobial agents. Triclocarban, TCS, and MTCS in water samples were at low-ppt concentrations (40-200 ng/L). Triclocarban, TCS, and MTCS were elevated to low-ppb concentrations (50-300 ng/g fresh wt) in caged snail samples and elevated to low-ppb concentrations (50-400 ng/g fresh wt) in caged algal samples. Resulting snail and algal BAFs were approximately three orders of magnitude, which supports rapid bioaccumulation among algae and adult caged snails at this receiving stream outfall. The results further support TCC, TCS, and MTCS as good candidate marker compounds for evaluation of environmental distribution of trace WWTP contaminants.

  12. Use of portable antennas to estimate abundance of PIT-tagged fish in small streams: Factors affecting detection probability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Donnell, Matthew J.; Horton, Gregg E.; Letcher, Benjamin H.

    2010-01-01

    Portable passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag antenna systems can be valuable in providing reliable estimates of the abundance of tagged Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in small streams under a wide range of conditions. We developed and employed PIT tag antenna wand techniques in two controlled experiments and an additional case study to examine the factors that influenced our ability to estimate population size. We used Pollock's robust-design capture–mark–recapture model to obtain estimates of the probability of first detection (p), the probability of redetection (c), and abundance (N) in the two controlled experiments. First, we conducted an experiment in which tags were hidden in fixed locations. Although p and c varied among the three observers and among the three passes that each observer conducted, the estimates of N were identical to the true values and did not vary among observers. In the second experiment using free-swimming tagged fish, p and c varied among passes and time of day. Additionally, estimates of N varied between day and night and among age-classes but were within 10% of the true population size. In the case study, we used the Cormack–Jolly–Seber model to examine the variation in p, and we compared counts of tagged fish found with the antenna wand with counts collected via electrofishing. In that study, we found that although p varied for age-classes, sample dates, and time of day, antenna and electrofishing estimates of N were similar, indicating that population size can be reliably estimated via PIT tag antenna wands. However, factors such as the observer, time of day, age of fish, and stream discharge can influence the initial and subsequent detection probabilities.

  13. Macroinvertebrate diversity loss in urban streams from tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Docile, Tatiana N; Figueiró, Ronaldo; Portela, Clayton; Nessimian, Jorge L

    2016-04-01

    The increase of human activities in recent years has significantly interfered and affected aquatic ecosystems. In this present study, we investigate the effects of urbanization in the community structure of aquatic macroinvertebrates from Atlantic Forest streams. The sampling was conducted in the mountainous region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 10 urban and 10 preserved streams during the dry season (August-September) of 2012. The streams were characterized for its environmental integrity conditions and physico-chemical properties of water. The macroinvertebrates were sampled on rocky substrates with a kicknet. A total of 5370 individuals were collected from all streams and were distributed among Ephemeroptera, Odonata, Plecoptera, Hemiptera, Megaloptera, Coleoptera, Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera. In urban sites, all those orders were found, except Megaloptera, while only Mollusca was not found in preserved streams. We performed a non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis that separated two groups distributed among sites in urban communities and another group outside this area. The dominance was significantly higher at urban sites, while the α diversity and equitability were greater in preserved sites. A canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was also performed, indicating that most taxa associated with high values of the Habitat Integrity Index (HII) and a few genus of the order Diptera with the high values of ammonia, total nitrogen, associated to streams in urban sites. Urban and preserved streams differ by physical-chemical variables and aquatic macroinvertebrates. In urban streams, there is most dominance, while α diversity and equitability are higher in preserved streams.

  14. The Stream-Catchment (StreamCat) Dataset

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stream environments reflect, in part, the hydrologic integration of upstream landscapes. Characterizing upstream landscape features is critical for effectively understanding, managing, and conserving riverine ecosystems. However, watershed delineation is a major challenge if hund...

  15. Spatial and temporal patterns of stream burial and its effect on habitat connectivity across headwater stream communities of the Potomac River Basin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitzell, R.; Guinn, S. M.; Elmore, A. J.

    2012-12-01

    The process of directing streams into culverts, pipes, or concrete-lined ditches during urbanization, known as stream burial, alters the primary physical, chemical, and biological processes of streams. Knowledge of the cumulative impacts of reduced structure and ecological function within buried stream networks is crucial for informing management of stream ecosystems, in light of continued growth in urban areas, and the uncertain response of freshwater ecosystems to the stresses of global climate change. To address this need, we utilized recently improved stream maps for the Potomac River Basin (PRB) to describe the extent and severity of stream burial across the basin. Observations of stream burial made from high resolution aerial photographs (>1% of total basin area) and a decision tree using spatial statistics from impervious cover data were used to predict stream burial at 4 time-steps (1975, 1990, 2001, 2006). Of the roughly 95,500 kilometers (km) of stream in the PRB, approximately 4551 km (4.76%) were buried by urban development as of 2001. Analysis of county-level burial trends shows differential patterns in the timing and rates of headwater stream burial, which may be due to local development policies, topographical constraints, and/or time since development. Consistently higher rates of stream burial were observed for small streams, decreasing with stream order. Headwater streams (1st-2nd order) are disproportionately affected, with burial rates continuing to increase over time in relation to larger stream orders. Beyond simple habitat loss, headwater burial decreases connectivity among headwater populations and habitats, with potential to affect a wide range of important ecological processes. To quantify changes to regional headwater connectivity we applied a connectivity model based on electrical circuit theory. Circuit-theoretical models function by treating the landscape as a resistance surface, representing hypothesized relationships between

  16. Assessing Lost Ecosystem Service Benefits Due to Mining-Induced Stream Degradation in the Appalachian Region: Economic Approaches to Valuing Recreational Fishing Impacts

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sport fishing is a popular activity for Appalachian residents and visitors. The region’s coldwater streams support a strong regional outdoor tourism industry. We examined the influence of surface coal mining, in the context of other stressors, on freshwater sport fishing in...

  17. Carbon-Isotopic Dynamics of Streams, Taylor Valley, Antarctica: Biological Effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neumann, K.; DesMarais, D. J.

    1998-01-01

    We have investigated the role of biological processes in the C-isotopic dynamics of the aquatic ecosystems in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. This cold desert ecosystem is characterized by the complete lack of vascular plants, and the presence of algal mats in ephemeral streams and perennially ice covered lakes. Streams having abundant algal mats and mosses have very low sigma CO2 concentrations, as well as the most depleted delta C-13 values (-4%). Previous work has shown that algal mats in these streams have delta C-13 values averaging -7.01%. These values are similar to those observed in the algal mats in shallow areas of the lakes in Taylor Valley, where CO2 is thought to be colimiting to growth. These low Sigma CO2 concentrations, and delta C(13) signatures heavier than the algal mats, suggest that CO2 may be colimiting in the streams, as well. Streams with little algal growth, especially the longer ones in Fryxell Basin, have higher Sigma CO2 concentrations and much more enriched isotopic signatures (as high as +8%). In these streams, the dissolution of isotopically enriched, cryogenic CaCO3 is probably the major source of dissolved carbonate. The delta C(13) geochemistry of Antarctic streams is radically different from the geochemistry of more temperate streams, as it is not affected by terrestrially produced, isotopically depleted Sigma CO2. These results have important implications for the understanding of "biogenic" carbonate that might have been produced from aquatic ecosystems in the past on Mars.

  18. The effects of mountaintop mines and valley fills on the physicochemical quality of stream ecosystems in the central Appalachians: a review.

    PubMed

    Griffith, Michael B; Norton, Susan B; Alexander, Laurie C; Pollard, Amina I; LeDuc, Stephen D

    2012-02-15

    This review assesses the state of the science on the effects of mountaintop mines and valley fills (MTM-VF) on the physicochemical characteristics of streams in the central Appalachian coalfields of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, USA. We focus on the impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining, which involves removing all - or some portion - of the top of a mountain or ridge to expose and mine one or more coal seams. Excess overburden is disposed in constructed fills in small valleys adjacent to the mining site. MTM-VF leachate persistently increases the downstream concentrations of major ions. Conductivity is a coarse measure of these ions, which are dominated by a distinct mixture of SO(4)(2-), HCO(3)(-), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+), that reflects their source, the oxidation of pyrite to form acid followed by neutralization of the acidity by carbonate minerals within the valley fills. This results in neutral to alkaline pHs, a range at which many metals are relatively insoluble. Other compounds within coal or overburden are solubilized and occur at elevated albeit lower concentrations, including K(+), Na(+), Cl(-), Se and Mn. In terms of physical characteristics, the valley fills act like headwater aquifers, baseflows increase in streams below valley fills and water temperatures exhibit reduced seasonal variation. Peak discharges may be increased in response to intense precipitation events, because of compaction of base surfaces of the MTM-VF areas, but newer approaches to reclamation reduce this compaction and may ameliorate these peak flows. Although the sedimentation pond is intended to capture fine particles that wash downstream from the valley fill, some studies found increased fine sediments in streams downstream from valley fills. However, a proportion of these fines may be eroded from stream banks rather than the valley fills. This is probably a result of the alterations in stream flows.

  19. Factors affecting water quality and net flux of solutes in two stream basins in the Quabbin Reservoir drainage basin, central Massachusetts,1983-85

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rittmaster, R.L.; Shanley, J.B.

    1995-01-01

    The factors that affect stream-water quality were studied at West Branch Swift River (Swift River), and East Branch Fever Brook (Fever Brook), two forested watersheds that drain into the Quabbin Reservoir, central Massachusetts, from December 1983 through August 1985. Spatial and temporal variations of chemistry of precipitation, surface water; and ground water and the linkages between chemical changes and hydrologic processes were used to identify the mechanisms that control stream chemistry. Precipitation chemistry was dominated by hydrogen ion (composite p.H 4.23), sulfate, and nitrate. Inputs of hydrogen and nitrate from pre- cipitation were almost entirely retained in the basins, whereas input of sulfate was approximately balanced by export by streamflow draining the basins. Both streams were poorly buffered, with mean pH near 5.7, mean alkalinity less than 30 microequivalents per liter, and sulfate concen- trations greater than 130 microequivalents per liter. Sodium and chloride, derived primarily from highway deicing salts, were the dominant solutes at Fever Brook. After adjustments for deicing salts, fluxes of base cations during the 21-month study were 2,014 and 1,429 equivalents per hectare in Swift River and Fever Brook, respectively. Base cation fluxes were controlled primarily by weathering of hornblende (Fever Brook) and plagioclase (Swift River). The overall weathering rate was greater in the Swift River Basin because easily weathered gabbro underlies one subbasin which comprises 11.2 percent of the total basin area but contributed about 77 percent of the total alkalinity. Alkalinity export was nearly equal in the two basins, however, because some alkalinity was generated in wetlands in the Fever Brook Basin through bacterial sulfate reduction coupled with organic-carbon oxidation.

  20. The cascade construction of artificial ponds as a tool for urban stream restoration - The use of benthic diatoms to assess the effects of restoration practices.

    PubMed

    Żelazna-Wieczorek, Joanna; Nowicka-Krawczyk, Paulina

    2015-12-15

    A series of cascade artificial ponds were constructed to improve the ecological status of the stream. To evaluate the effects of restoration practices, a bioassessment, based on phytobenthic algae - the diatoms, was made. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of diatom assemblages allowed for evaluating the influence of a series of cascade artificial ponds on stream integrity. To reveal which environmental factors had the greatest influence on shaping diatom assemblages, the BIO-ENV procedure was used, and in order to examine whether these factors had equal influence on diatoms along the stream, Redundancy Analysis (RDA) was used. The analysis of diatom assemblages allowed for the calculation of the diatom indices in order to assess the water quality and the ecological status of the stream. Artificial ponds constructed on the stream had significant effects on the integrity of the stream ecosystem. Diatom assemblages characteristic of stream habitats were disrupted by the species from ponds. HCA and PCA revealed that the stream was clearly divided into three sections: ponds, stream parts under the influence of ponds, and stream parts isolated from ponds. The ponds thus altered stream environmental conditions. Benthic diatom assemblages were affected by a combination of four environmental factors: the concentration of ammonium ions, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and the amount of total suspended material in the water. These factors, together with water pH, had a diverse influence on diatom assemblages alongside the stream, which was caused by a series of cascade ponds. In theory, this restoration practice should restore the stream close to its natural state, but bioassessment of the stream ecosystem based on diatoms revealed that there was no improvement of the ecological status alongside the stream. The construction of artificial ponds disrupted stream continuity and altered the character of the stream ecosystem.

  1. The cascade construction of artificial ponds as a tool for urban stream restoration - The use of benthic diatoms to assess the effects of restoration practices.

    PubMed

    Żelazna-Wieczorek, Joanna; Nowicka-Krawczyk, Paulina

    2015-12-15

    A series of cascade artificial ponds were constructed to improve the ecological status of the stream. To evaluate the effects of restoration practices, a bioassessment, based on phytobenthic algae - the diatoms, was made. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of diatom assemblages allowed for evaluating the influence of a series of cascade artificial ponds on stream integrity. To reveal which environmental factors had the greatest influence on shaping diatom assemblages, the BIO-ENV procedure was used, and in order to examine whether these factors had equal influence on diatoms along the stream, Redundancy Analysis (RDA) was used. The analysis of diatom assemblages allowed for the calculation of the diatom indices in order to assess the water quality and the ecological status of the stream. Artificial ponds constructed on the stream had significant effects on the integrity of the stream ecosystem. Diatom assemblages characteristic of stream habitats were disrupted by the species from ponds. HCA and PCA revealed that the stream was clearly divided into three sections: ponds, stream parts under the influence of ponds, and stream parts isolated from ponds. The ponds thus altered stream environmental conditions. Benthic diatom assemblages were affected by a combination of four environmental factors: the concentration of ammonium ions, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and the amount of total suspended material in the water. These factors, together with water pH, had a diverse influence on diatom assemblages alongside the stream, which was caused by a series of cascade ponds. In theory, this restoration practice should restore the stream close to its natural state, but bioassessment of the stream ecosystem based on diatoms revealed that there was no improvement of the ecological status alongside the stream. The construction of artificial ponds disrupted stream continuity and altered the character of the stream ecosystem. PMID:26318812

  2. Ecoregions and stream morphology in eastern Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Splinter, D.K.; Dauwalter, D.C.; Marston, R.A.; Fisher, W.L.

    2010-01-01

    Broad-scale variables (i.e., geology, topography, climate, land use, vegetation, and soils) influence channel morphology. How and to what extent the longitudinal pattern of channel morphology is influenced by broad-scale variables is important to fluvial geomorphologists and stream ecologists. In the last couple of decades, there has been an increase in the amount of interdisciplinary research between fluvial geomorphologists and stream ecologists. In a historical context, fluvial geomorphologists are more apt to use physiographic regions to distinguish broad-scale variables, while stream ecologists are more apt to use the concept of an ecosystem to address the broad-scale variables that influence stream habitat. For this reason, we designed a study using ecoregions, which uses physical and biological variables to understand how landscapes influence channel processes. Ecoregions are delineated by similarities in geology, climate, soils, land use, and potential natural vegetation. In the fluvial system, stream form and function are dictated by processes observed throughout the fluvial hierarchy. Recognizing that stream form and function should differ by ecoregion, a study was designed to evaluate how the characteristics of stream channels differed longitudinally among three ecoregions in eastern Oklahoma, USA: Boston Mountains, Ozark Highlands, and Ouachita Mountains. Channel morphology of 149 stream reaches was surveyed in 1st- through 4th-order streams, and effects of drainage area and ecoregion on channel morphology was evaluated using multiple regressions. Differences existed (?????0.05) among ecoregions for particle size, bankfull width, and width/depth ratio. No differences existed among ecoregions for gradient or sinuosity. Particle size was smallest in the Ozark Highlands and largest in the Ouachita Mountains. Bankfull width was larger in the Ozark Highlands than in the Boston Mountains and Ouachita Mountains in larger streams. Width/depth ratios of the

  3. Rapid decomposition of maize detritus in agricultural headwater streams.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Natalie A; Tank, Jennifer L; Royer, Todd V; Rosi-Marshall, Emma J; Whiles, Matt R; Chambers, Catherine P; Frauendorf, Therese C; Evans-White, Michelle A

    2009-01-01

    Headwater streams draining agricultural landscapes receive maize leaves (Zea mays L.) via wind and surface runoff, yet the contribution of maize detritus to organic-matter processing in agricultural streams is largely unknown. We quantified decomposition and microbial respiration rates on conventional (non-Bt) and genetically engineered (Bt) maize in three low-order agricultural streams in northwestern Indiana, USA. We also examined how substrate quality and in-stream nutrient concentrations influenced microbial respiration on maize by comparing respiration on maize and red maple leaves (Acer rubrum) in three nutrient-rich agricultural streams and three low-nutrient forested streams. We found significantly higher rates of microbial respiration on maize vs. red maple leaves and higher rates in agricultural vs. forested streams. Thus both the elevated nutrient status of agricultural streams and the lability of maize detritus (e.g., low carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and low lignin content) result in a rapid incorporation of maize leaves into the aquatic microbial food web. We found that Bt maize had a faster decomposition rate than non-Bt maize, while microbial respiration rates did not differ between Bt and non-Bt maize. Decomposition rates were not negatively affected by genetic engineering, perhaps because the Bt toxin does not adversely affect the aquatic microbial assemblage involved in maize decomposition. Additionally, shredding caddisflies, which are known to have suppressed growth rates when fed Bt maize, were depauperate in these agricultural streams, and likely did not play a major role in maize decomposition. Overall, the conversion of native vegetation to row-crop agriculture appears to have altered the quantity, quality, and predictability of allochthonous carbon inputs to headwater streams, with unexplored effects on stream ecosystem structure and function. PMID:19323178

  4. Do differences in food web structure between organic and conventional farms affect the ecosystem service of pest control?

    PubMed

    Macfadyen, Sarina; Gibson, Rachel; Polaszek, Andrew; Morris, Rebecca J; Craze, Paul G; Planqué, Robert; Symondson, William O C; Memmott, Jane

    2009-03-01

    While many studies have demonstrated that organic farms support greater levels of biodiversity, it is not known whether this translates into better provision of ecosystem services. Here we use a food-web approach to analyse the community structure and function at the whole-farm scale. Quantitative food webs from 10 replicate pairs of organic and conventional farms showed that organic farms have significantly more species at three trophic levels (plant, herbivore and parasitoid) and significantly different network structure. Herbivores on organic farms were attacked by more parasitoid species on organic farms than on conventional farms. However, differences in network structure did not translate into differences in robustness to simulated species loss and we found no difference in percentage parasitism (natural pest control) across a variety of host species. Furthermore, a manipulative field experiment demonstrated that the higher species richness of parasitoids on the organic farms did not increase mortality of a novel herbivore used to bioassay ecosystem service. The explanation for these differences is likely to include inherent differences in management strategies and landscape structure between the two farming systems.

  5. How will ocean acidification affect Baltic sea ecosystems? an assessment of plausible impacts on key functional groups.

    PubMed

    Havenhand, Jonathan N

    2012-09-01

    Increasing partial pressure of atmospheric CO₂ is causing ocean pH to fall-a process known as 'ocean acidification'. Scenario modeling suggests that ocean acidification in the Baltic Sea may cause a ≤ 3 times increase in acidity (reduction of 0.2-0.4 pH units) by the year 2100. The responses of most Baltic Sea organisms to ocean acidification are poorly understood. Available data suggest that most species and ecologically important groups in the Baltic Sea food web (phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, cod and sprat) will be robust to the expected changes in pH. These conclusions come from (mostly) single-species and single-factor studies. Determining the emergent effects of ocean acidification on the ecosystem from such studies is problematic, yet very few studies have used multiple stressors and/or multiple trophic levels. There is an urgent need for more data from Baltic Sea populations, particularly from environmentally diverse regions and from controlled mesocosm experiments. In the absence of such information it is difficult to envision the likely effects of future ocean acidification on Baltic Sea species and ecosystems.

  6. Subterranean ventilation: a key but poorly known process affecting the carbon balance of semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López Ballesteros, Ana; Sánchez Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano Ortiz, Penélope; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Domingo, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Subterranean ventilation, conceived as the advective transport of CO2-rich air from the vadose zone to the atmosphere through a porous media (i.e. soil or snow; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013), has arisen as an important process contributing to the carbon (C) balance of Mediterranean ecosystems (Kowalski et al., 2008; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2011; Serrano-Ortiz et al., 2014), apart from other well-known biotic processes (i.e. plant photosynthesis, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration). Recent studies have linked this subterranean CO2 release to fluctuations in the friction velocity or wind speed under drought conditions when water-free soil pores enable air transport (Rey et al., 2012a, 2013), however, barometric pressure variations has been suggested as another important driver (Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013). In this study, we investigate this process in newly studied semi-arid grassland located in SE Spain, as the ideal ecosystem to do so given the great length of the dry season and the slight biotic activity limited to the winter season. Preliminary results, based on unpublished analyzed eddy covariance data and subterranean CO2 molar fraction measurements, confirm the presence of ventilation events from May to October for seven years 2009-2015. During these events, increases in the friction velocity correlates with sizeable CO2 emissions of up to ca.10 μmol m‑2 s‑1, and CO2 molar fraction regularly drops 2000-3000 ppm just after the turbulence peak, at several depths below the soil surface (0.15 and 1.5 m). Additionally, during the driest period (July-August), the friction velocity explains from 37% to 57% of the net C emission variability. On the other hand, the model residuals do not show a significant relationship, neither with air pressure nor with soil water content. Overall, the results found in this newly monitored site demonstrate, as shown by past research, the relevance of subterranean ventilation as a key process in the C balance of

  7. Subterranean ventilation: a key but poorly known process affecting the carbon balance of semi-arid ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López Ballesteros, Ana; Sánchez Cañete, Enrique P.; Serrano Ortiz, Penélope; Kowalski, Andrew S.; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Domingo, Francisco

    2016-04-01

    Subterranean ventilation, conceived as the advective transport of CO2-rich air from the vadose zone to the atmosphere through a porous media (i.e. soil or snow; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013), has arisen as an important process contributing to the carbon (C) balance of Mediterranean ecosystems (Kowalski et al., 2008; Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2011; Serrano-Ortiz et al., 2014), apart from other well-known biotic processes (i.e. plant photosynthesis, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration). Recent studies have linked this subterranean CO2 release to fluctuations in the friction velocity or wind speed under drought conditions when water-free soil pores enable air transport (Rey et al., 2012a, 2013), however, barometric pressure variations has been suggested as another important driver (Sánchez-Cañete et al., 2013). In this study, we investigate this process in newly studied semi-arid grassland located in SE Spain, as the ideal ecosystem to do so given the great length of the dry season and the slight biotic activity limited to the winter season. Preliminary results, based on unpublished analyzed eddy covariance data and subterranean CO2 molar fraction measurements, confirm the presence of ventilation events from May to October for seven years 2009-2015. During these events, increases in the friction velocity correlates with sizeable CO2 emissions of up to ca.10 μmol m-2 s-1, and CO2 molar fraction regularly drops 2000-3000 ppm just after the turbulence peak, at several depths below the soil surface (0.15 and 1.5 m). Additionally, during the driest period (July-August), the friction velocity explains from 37% to 57% of the net C emission variability. On the other hand, the model residuals do not show a significant relationship, neither with air pressure nor with soil water content. Overall, the results found in this newly monitored site demonstrate, as shown by past research, the relevance of subterranean ventilation as a key process in the C balance of

  8. Modeling compensatory responses of ecosystem-scale water fluxes in forests affected by pine and spruce beetle mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, D.; Ewers, B. E.; Peckham, S. D.; Mackay, D. S.; Frank, J. M.; Massman, W. J.; Reed, D. E.

    2015-12-01

    Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) epidemics have led to extensive mortality in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) forests in the Rocky Mountains of the western US. In both of these tree species, mortality results from hydraulic failure within the xylem, due to blue stain fungal infection associated with beetle attack. However, the impacts of these disturbances on ecosystem-scale water fluxes can be complex, owing to their variable and transient nature. In this work, xylem scaling factors that reduced whole-tree conductance were initially incorporated into a forest ecohydrological model (TREES) to simulate the impact of beetle mortality on evapotranspiration (ET) in both pine and spruce forests. For both forests, simulated ET was compared to observed ET fluxes recorded using eddy covariance techniques. Using xylem scaling factors, the model overestimated the impact of beetle mortality, and observed ET fluxes were approximately two-fold higher than model predictions in both forests. The discrepancy between simulated and observed ET following the onset of beetle mortality may be the result of spatial and temporal heterogeneity of plant communities within the foot prints of the eddy covariance towers. Since simulated ET fluxes following beetle mortality in both forests only accounted for approximately 50% of those observed in the field, it is possible that newly established understory vegetation in recently killed tree stands may play a role in stabilizing ecosystem ET fluxes. Here, we further investigate the unaccounted for ET fluxes in the model by breaking it down into multiple cohorts that represent live trees, dying trees, and understory vegetation that establishes following tree mortality.

  9. Behavior of steelhead fry in a laboratory stream is affected by fish density but not rearing environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riley, Stephen C.; Tatara, Christopher P.; Berejikian, Barry A.; Flagg, Thomas A.

    2009-01-01

    We quantified the aggression, feeding, dominance, position choice, and territory size of naturally reared steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss fry stocked with two types of hatchery-reared fry (from conventional and enriched rearing environments) at two densities in experimental flumes to determine how rearing environment and fish density affect the behavior of steelhead fry. We found that fry density had a significant effect on most response variables but that rearing treatment did not. The rates of threats and attacks were positively correlated with fry density, but the overall feeding rate was negatively correlated. Naturally reared fry were dominant more often at low densities, and hatchery-reared fry were dominant more often at high densities. There were no significant effects of hatchery rearing treatment on aggression, feeding, dominance, or territory size. The only significant effect of rearing treatment was on the position of naturally reared fry, which occupied more upstream positions when stocked with conventional than with enriched hatchery-reared fry. Overall, rearing environment had relatively little influence on the behavior of steelhead fry. Our results indicate that stocking hatchery-reared steelhead fry at low densities may have effects on similar-size wild fish comparable to an equivalent increase in the density of wild fish. We suggest that releasing hatchery-reared steelhead fry as a supplementation strategy may have few direct negative ecological effects on wild fry.

  10. Effects of urbanization on stream ecosystems along an agriculture-to-urban land-use gradient, Milwaukee to Green Bay, Wisconsin, 2003-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richards, Kevin D.; Scudder, Barbara C.; Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Steuer, Jeffery J.; Bell, Amanda H.; Peppler, Marie C.; Stewart, Jana S.; Harris, Mitchell A.

    2010-01-01

    In 2003 and 2004, 30 streams near Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, were part of a national study by the U.S. Geological Survey to assess urbanization effects on physical, chemical, and biological characteristics along an agriculture-to-urban land-use gradient. A geographic information system was used to characterize natural landscape features that define the environmental setting and the degree of urbanization within each stream watershed. A combination of land cover, socioeconomic, and infrastructure variables were integrated into a multi-metric urban intensity index, scaled from 0 to 100, and assigned to each stream site to identify a gradient of urbanization within relatively homogeneous environmental settings. The 35 variables used to develop the final urban intensity index characterized the degree of urbanization and included road infrastructure (road area and road traffic index), 100-meter riparian land cover (percentage of impervious surface, shrubland, and agriculture), watershed land cover (percentage of impervious surface, developed/urban land, shrubland, and agriculture), and 26 socioeconomic variables (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). Characteristics examined as part of this study included: habitat, hydrology, stream temperature, water chemistry (chloride, sulfate, nutrients, dissolved and particulate organic and inorganic carbon, pesticides, and suspended sediment), benthic algae, benthic invertebrates, and fish. Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) were used to assess the potential for bioconcentration of hydrophobic organic contaminants (specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organochlorine and pyrethroid insecticides) in biological membranes, such as the gills of fish. Physical habitat measurements reflective of channel enlargement, including bankfull channel size and bank erosion, increased with increasing urbanization within the watershed. In this study, percentage of riffles and streambed substrate size were

  11. Root dynamics in an artificially constructed regenerating longleaf pine ecosystem are affected by atmospheric CO(2) enrichment.

    PubMed

    Pritchard, S G.; Davis, M A.; Mitchell, R J.; Prior, S A.; Boykin, D L.; Rogers, H H.; Runion, G B.

    2001-08-01

    Differential responses to elevated atmospheric CO(2) concentration exhibited by different plant functional types may alter competition for above- and belowground resources in a higher CO(2) world. Because C allocation to roots is often favored over C allocation to shoots in plants grown with CO(2) enrichment, belowground function of forest ecosystems may change significantly. We established an outdoor facility to examine the effects of elevated CO(2) on root dynamics in artificially constructed communities of five early successional forest species: (1) a C(3) evergreen conifer (longleaf pine, Pinus palustris Mill.); (2) a C(4) monocotyledonous bunch grass (wiregrass, Aristida stricta Michx.); (3) a C(3) broadleaf tree (sand post oak, Quercus margaretta); (4) a C(3) perennial herbaceous legume (rattlebox, Crotalaria rotundifolia Walt. ex Gemel); and (5) an herbaceous C(3) dicotyledonous perennial (butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa L.). These species are common associates in early successional longleaf pine savannahs throughout the southeastern USA and represent species that differ in life-form, growth habit, physiology, and symbiotic relationships. A combination of minirhizotrons and soil coring was used to examine temporal and spatial rooting dynamics from October 1998 to October 1999. CO(2)-enriched plots exhibited 35% higher standing root crop length, 37% greater root length production per day, and 47% greater root length mortality per day. These variables, however, were enhanced by CO(2) enrichment only at the 10-30 cm depth. Relative root turnover (flux/standing crop) was unchanged by elevated CO(2). Sixteen months after planting, root biomass of pine was 62% higher in elevated compared to ambient CO(2) plots. Conversely, the combined biomass of rattlebox, wiregrass, and butterfly weed was 28% greater in ambient compared to high CO(2) plots. There was no difference in root biomass of oaks after 16 months of exposure to elevated CO(2). Using root and shoot

  12. Temporal dynamics of groundwater-dissolved inorganic carbon beneath a drought-affected braided stream: Platte River case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boerner, Audrey R.; Gates, John B.

    2015-05-01

    Impacts of environmental changes on groundwater carbon cycling are poorly understood despite their potentially high relevance to terrestrial carbon budgets. This study focuses on streambed groundwater chemistry during a period of drought-induced river drying and consequent disconnection between surface water and groundwater. Shallow groundwater underlying vegetated and bare portions of a braided streambed in the Platte River (Nebraska, USA) was monitored during drought conditions in summer 2012. Water temperature and dissolved inorganic carbon (dominated by HCO3-) in streambed groundwater were correlated over a 3 month period coinciding with a decline in river discharge from 35 to 0 m3 s-1. Physical, chemical, and isotopic parameters were monitored to investigate mechanisms affecting the HCO3- trend. Equilibrium thermodynamic modeling suggests that an increase of pCO2 near the water table, coupled with carbonate mineral weathering, can explain the trend. Stronger temporal trends in Ca2+ and Mg2+ compared to Cl- are consistent with carbonate mineral reequilibria rather than evaporative concentration as the primary mechanism of the increased HCO3-. Stable isotope trends are not apparent, providing further evidence of thermodynamic controls rather than evaporation from the water table. A combination of increased temperature and O2 in the dewatered portion of the streambed is the most likely driver of increased pCO2 near the water table. Results of this study highlight potential linkages between surface environmental changes and groundwater chemistry and underscore the need for high-resolution chemical monitoring of alluvial groundwater in order to identify environmental change impacts.

  13. Multiple injected and natural conservative tracers quantify mixing in a stream confluence affected by acid mine drainage near Silverton, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schemel, Laurence E.; Cox, Marisa H.; Runkel, Robert L.; Kimball, Briant A.

    2006-08-01

    The acidic discharge from Cement Creek, containing elevated concentrations of dissolved metals and sulphate, mixed with the circumneutral-pH Animas River over a several hundred metre reach (mixing zone) near Silverton, CO, during this study. Differences in concentrations of Ca, Mg, Si, Sr, and SO42- between the creek and the river were sufficiently large for these analytes to be used as natural tracers in the mixing zone. In addition, a sodium chloride (NaCl) tracer was injected into Cement Creek, which provided a Cl- reference tracer in the mixing zone. Conservative transport of the dissolved metals and sulphate through the mixing zone was verified by mass balances and by linear mixing plots relative to the injected reference tracer. At each of seven sites in the mixing zone, five samples were collected at evenly spaced increments of the observed across-channel gradients, as determined by specific conductance. This created sets of samples that adequately covered the ranges of mixtures (mixing ratios, in terms of the fraction of Animas River water, %AR). Concentratis measured in each mixing zone sample and in the upstream Animas River and Cement Creek were used to compute %AR for the reference and natural tracers. Values of %AR from natural tracers generally showed good agreement with values from the reference tracer, but variability in discharge and end-member concentrations and analytical errors contributed to unexpected outlier values for both injected and natural tracers. The median value (MV) %AR (calculated from all of the tracers) reduced scatter in the mixing plots for the dissolved metals, indicating that the MV estimate reduced the effects of various potential errors that could affect any tracer.

  14. Multiple injected and natural conservative tracers quantify mixing in a stream confluence affected by acid mine drainage near Silverton, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schemel, L.E.; Cox, M.H.; Runkel, R.L.; Kimball, B.A.

    2006-01-01

    The acidic discharge from Cement Creek, containing elevated concentrations of dissolved metals and sulphate, mixed with the circumneutral-pH Animas River over a several hundred metre reach (mixing zone) near Silverton, CO, during this study. Differences in concentrations of Ca, Mg, Si, Sr, and SO42- between the creek and the river were sufficiently large for these analytes to be used as natural tracers in the mixing zone. In addition, a sodium chloride (NaCl) tracer was injected into Cement Creek, which provided a Cl- 'reference' tracer in the mixing zone. Conservative transport of the dissolved metals and sulphate through the mixing zone was verified by mass balances and by linear mixing plots relative to the injected reference tracer. At each of seven sites in the mixing zone, five samples were collected at evenly spaced increments of the observed across-channel gradients, as determined by specific conductance. This created sets of samples that adequately covered the ranges of mixtures (mixing ratios, in terms of the fraction of Animas River water, %AR). Concentrations measured in each mixing zone sample and in the upstream Animas River and Cement Creek were used to compute %AR for the reference and natural tracers. Values of %AR from natural tracers generally showed good agreement with values from the reference tracer, but variability in discharge and end-member concentrations and analytical errors contributed to unexpected outlier values for both injected and natural tracers. The median value (MV) %AR (calculated from all of the tracers) reduced scatter in the mixing plots for the dissolved metals, indicating that the MV estimate reduced the effects of various potential errors that could affect any tracer.

  15. 'One physical system': Tansley's ecosystem as Earth's critical zone.

    PubMed

    Richter, Daniel deB; Billings, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Integrative concepts of the biosphere, ecosystem, biogeocenosis and, recently, Earth's critical zone embrace scientific disciplines that link matter, energy and organisms in a systems-level understanding of our remarkable planet. Here, we assert the congruence of Tansley's (1935) venerable ecosystem concept of 'one physical system' with Earth science's critical zone. Ecosystems and critical zones are congruent across spatial-temporal scales from vegetation-clad weathering profiles and hillslopes, small catchments, landscapes, river basins, continents, to Earth's whole terrestrial surface. What may be less obvious is congruence in the vertical dimension. We use ecosystem metabolism to argue that full accounting of photosynthetically fixed carbon includes respiratory CO₂ and carbonic acid that propagate to the base of the critical zone itself. Although a small fraction of respiration, the downward diffusion of CO₂ helps determine rates of soil formation and, ultimately, ecosystem evolution and resilience. Because life in the upper portions of terrestrial ecosystems significantly affects biogeochemistry throughout weathering profiles, the lower boundaries of most terrestrial ecosystems have been demarcated at depths too shallow to permit a complete understanding of ecosystem structure and function. Opportunities abound to explore connections between upper and lower components of critical-zone ecosystems, between soils and streams in watersheds, and between plant-derived CO₂ and deep microbial communities and mineral weathering.

  16. 'One physical system': Tansley's ecosystem as Earth's critical zone.

    PubMed

    Richter, Daniel deB; Billings, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Integrative concepts of the biosphere, ecosystem, biogeocenosis and, recently, Earth's critical zone embrace scientific disciplines that link matter, energy and organisms in a systems-level understanding of our remarkable planet. Here, we assert the congruence of Tansley's (1935) venerable ecosystem concept of 'one physical system' with Earth science's critical zone. Ecosystems and critical zones are congruent across spatial-temporal scales from vegetation-clad weathering profiles and hillslopes, small catchments, landscapes, river basins, continents, to Earth's whole terrestrial surface. What may be less obvious is congruence in the vertical dimension. We use ecosystem metabolism to argue that full accounting of photosynthetically fixed carbon includes respiratory CO₂ and carbonic acid that propagate to the base of the critical zone itself. Although a small fraction of respiration, the downward diffusion of CO₂ helps determine rates of soil formation and, ultimately, ecosystem evolution and resilience. Because life in the upper portions of terrestrial ecosystems significantly affects biogeochemistry throughout weathering profiles, the lower boundaries of most terrestrial ecosystems have been demarcated at depths too shallow to permit a complete understanding of ecosystem structure and function. Opportunities abound to explore connections between upper and lower components of critical-zone ecosystems, between soils and streams in watersheds, and between plant-derived CO₂ and deep microbial communities and mineral weathering. PMID:25731586

  17. Effects of sewage effluents on water quality in tropical streams.