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Title

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

AuthorsArroita, M.; Causapé, Jesús; Comín, Francisco A. ; Díez, Joserra; Jiménez, Juan J. ; Lacarta, Juan; Lorente, Carmen; Merchán, Daniel; Muñiz, Selene ; Navarro, Enrique ; Val, Jonatan; Elosegi, Arturo
KeywordsEcosystem functioning
Breakdown
Stream
Soil
Irrigation agriculture
Issue Date2013
PublisherElsevier
CitationJournal of Hazardous Materials 263: 139- 145 (2013)
AbstractMany 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 (0.0001-0.0003day-1), and increased with the intensity of agriculture (0.0018-0.0044day-1). In water, stick breakdown rates ranged from 0.0005 to 0.001day-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. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.06.049
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/90022
DOI10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.06.049
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.06.049
issn: 0304-3894
e-issn: 1873-3336
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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