Longitudinal trends in river functioning: Patterns of nutrient and carbon processing in three Australian rivers

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dc.contributor.author Hadwen, WL
dc.contributor.author Fellows, CS
dc.contributor.author Westhorpe, DP
dc.contributor.author Rees, GN
dc.contributor.author Mitrovic, SM
dc.contributor.author Taylor, B
dc.contributor.author Baldwin, DS
dc.contributor.author Silvester, E
dc.contributor.author Croome, R
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-02T06:19:33Z
dc.date.issued 2010-11
dc.identifier.citation River Research and Applications, 2010, 26 (9), pp. 1129 - 1152
dc.identifier.issn 1535-1459
dc.identifier.other C1UNSUBMIT en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/14748
dc.description.abstract Understanding longitudinal trends in the processing of carbon in rivers represents a much conceptualised, but infrequently tested, issue in aquatic ecology. In this study, we conducted concurrent longitudinal examinations of three very different rivers in eastern Australia to determine whether general principles in river functioning exist across broad geographic and hydrologic scales. Specifically, we examined trends in ambient basic water chemistry, nutrient concentrations, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), extracellular enzymes and food web structure and functioning and conducted bioassays to examine the degree to which DOC and nutrients limit heterotrophic bacterial respiration. These parameters revealed striking similarities across all sites. For metazoan communities, stable isotope analysis showed that algal carbon was the dominant basal resource utilised by consumers in all three rivers, suggesting that in-stream primary producers strongly underpin trophic pathways regardless of the position within a catchment or catchment condition. Analyses of extracellular enzymes revealed that microbial communities are actively utilising DOC at all sites. In fact, heterotrophic microbial respiration was strongly limited by DOC at all sites, with nutrient additions resulting in only relatively minor increases in respiration. Ultimately, this study demonstrates that DOC and algal carbon are critically important drivers of ecosystem processes in Australian riverine ecosystems. Furthermore, across all of our sites and rivers, ambient nutrient concentrations did not influence carbon processing. The consistent longitudinal trends in river function identified in this study provide useful insights for catchment managers and modellers with respect to identifiying key principles that underpin ecosystem functioning in Australian rivers. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
dc.language eng
dc.relation.isbasedon 10.1002/rra.1321
dc.title Longitudinal trends in river functioning: Patterns of nutrient and carbon processing in three Australian rivers
dc.type Journal Article
dc.parent River Research and Applications
dc.journal.volume 9
dc.journal.volume 26
dc.journal.number 9 en_US
dc.publocation UK en_US
dc.identifier.startpage 1129 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 1152 en_US
dc.cauo.name SCI.Environmental Sciences en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 0602 Ecology
dc.personcode 944240
dc.percentage 100 en_US
dc.classification.name Ecology en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition en_US
dc.custom en_US
dc.date.activity en_US
dc.location.activity en_US
dc.description.keywords * microbial respiration; * extracellular enzymes; * food webs; * experimental bioassays en_US
dc.description.keywords * microbial respiration
dc.description.keywords * extracellular enzymes
dc.description.keywords * food webs
dc.description.keywords * experimental bioassays
dc.description.keywords Experimental bioassays
dc.description.keywords Extracellular enzymes
dc.description.keywords Food webs
dc.description.keywords Microbial respiration
pubs.embargo.period Not known
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Science
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Science/School of the Environment
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Strength - Environmental Science


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