Effects of Coarse Particulate Organic Matter on Fungal Biomass and Invertebrate Density in the Subsurface of a Headwater Stream Effects of coarse particulate organic matter on fungal biomass and invertebrate density in the subsurface of a headwater stream

  • Crenshaw C
  • Valett H
  • Tank J
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mountain stream in northern New Mexico in late summer 1997. Three pairs were buried beneath the stream bank (i.e., parafluvial zone) and 6 pairs were buried in the hyporheic zone. Baskets were distributed along upwelling and downwelling reaches to assess the potential hydrologic influ- ence of subsurface-surface exchange. Open baskets of wood veneer were placed on the streambed surface to compare fungal biomass on the surface with the subsurface. Wood in both hyporheic and parafluvial baskets was colonized by fungi, but fungal biomass was significantly greater on wood in surface water than in hyporheic and parafluvial zones. In addition, fungal biomass on hyporheic wood was significantly greater than on parafluvial wood. A similar pattern (i.e., surface > hyporheic > parafluvial) was observed for dissolved oxygen. In contrast, concentrations of retained particulate organic matter were significantly higher in the parafluvial than the hyporheic zone. Invertebrate densities were significantly greater in baskets supplemented with wood and were greater in the hyporheic zone than in the parafluvial zone. Our data suggest that wood and associated microbial biofilms represent an important food resource for interstitial invertebrate communities.

Author-supplied keywords

  • fungal biomass
  • hyporheic zone
  • invertebrate
  • organic matter dynamics

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  • Chelsea L Crenshaw

  • H Maurice Valett

  • Jennifer L Tank

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