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Title: Physical and stoichiometric controls on stream respiration in a headwater stream
Abstract. Many studies in ecohydrology focusing on hydrologictransport argue that longer residence times across a stream ecosystem shouldconsistently result in higher biological uptake of carbon, nutrients, andoxygen. This consideration does not incorporate the potential forbiologically mediated reactions to be limited by stoichiometric imbalances.Based on the relevance and co-dependences between hydrologic exchange,stoichiometry, and biological uptake and acknowledging the limited amountof field studies available to determine their net effects on the retentionand export of resources, we quantified how microbial respiration iscontrolled by the interactions between and the supply of essential nutrients (C, N, and P)in a headwater stream in Colorado, USA. For this, we conducted two rounds ofnutrient experiments, each consisting of four sets of continuous injectionsof Cl− as a conservative tracer, resazurin as a proxy for aerobicrespiration, and one of the following nutrient treatments: (a) N, (b) N+C,(c) N+P, or (d) C+N+P. Nutrient treatments were considered to be knownsystem modifications that alter metabolism, and statistical tests helpedidentify the relationships between reach-scale hydrologic transport andrespiration metrics. We found that as discharge changed significantlybetween rounds and across stoichiometric treatments, (a) transient storagemainly occurred in pools lateral to the main channel and was proportional todischarge, and (b) microbial respiration remained similar between rounds andacross stoichiometric treatments. Our results contradict the notion thathydrologic transport alone is a dominant control on biogeochemicalprocessing and suggest that complex interactions between hydrology, resourcesupply, and biological community function are responsible for drivingin-stream respiration.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1642399 1914490
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Page Range / eLocation ID:
3353 to 3366
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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