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Do non-native Platanus hybrida riparian plantations affect leaf litter decomposition in streams?

AuthorsMenéndez, Margarita ; Descals, Enric ; Riera, Tecla; Moya, Oscar
Issue Date2013
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
CitationHydrobiologia 716(1): 5-20 (2013)
AbstractIn forest headwater streams where the riparian canopy limits autochthonous primary production, leaf litter decomposition is a key process controlling nutrient and carbon cycling. Any alteration of the riparian vegetation may influence litter decomposition and detrital food webs. We evaluated the effect of non-native Platanus hybrida riparian plantations on leaf litter decomposition in Mediterranean streams. The experiment was conducted in six headwater streams; three lined by native riparian vegetation and three crossing P. hybrida plantations. We have characterized the processing rates of alder leaves and the assemblages of shredder macroinvertebrates and fungi. Litter decomposition was significantly faster in the P. hybrida than in the reference streams. Although the dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentration was higher in P. hybrida, no significant effect was observed in decomposition rates. Differences in decomposition rates reflected the macroinvertebrate and shredder colonization in alder litter, with higher abundance and richness in the P. hybrida streams. However, aquatic hyphomycete sporulation rate was higher in reference streams, suggesting that the variation in decomposition rates is a direct consequence of shredder abundance. Our findings support part of the substrate quality-matrix quality (SMI) hypothesis, which expects that high-quality litter will show increased decomposition rates in a low-quality litter matrix. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10750-013-1539-0
issn: 0018-8158
Appears in Collections:(IMEDEA) Artículos
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