Elevated Allochthony in Stream Food Webs as a Result of Longitudinal Cumulative Effects of Forest Management

Abstract

The river continuum concept (RCC) predicts a downstream shift in the reliance of aquatic consumers from terrestrial to aquatic carbon sources, but this concept has rarely been assessed with longitudinal studies. Similarly, there are no studies addressing how forestry related disturbances to the structure of headwater food webs manifest (accumulate/dissipate) downstream and/or whether forest management alters natural longitudinal trends predicted by the RCC. Using stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen, we investigated how: 1) autochthony in macroinvertebrates and fish change from small streams to larger downstream sites within a basin with minimal forest management (New Brunswick, Canada); 2) longitudinal trends in autochthony and food web length compare among three basins with different forest management intensity [intensive (harvest and replanting), extensive (harvest only …

Publication
Ecosystems

abstract: “The river continuum concept (RCC) predicts a downstream shift in the reliance of aquatic consumers from terrestrial to aquatic carbon sources, but this concept has rarely been assessed with longitudinal studies. Similarly, there are no studies addressing how forestry related disturbances to the structure of headwater food webs manifest (accumulate/dissipate) downstream and/or whether forest management alters natural longitudinal trends predicted by the RCC. Using stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen, we investigated how: 1) autochthony in macroinvertebrates and fish change from small streams to larger downstream sites within a basin with minimal forest management (New Brunswick, Canada); 2) longitudinal trends in autochthony and food web length compare among three basins with different forest management intensity [intensive (harvest and replanting), extensive (harvest only …” authors:


Erik Emilson
Erik Emilson
Research Scientist, Watershed Ecology Team Lead, Associate Editor CJFR

I am interested in how forests support freshwater ecosystem services. My research combines microbial and molecular approaches to undertand how forest productivity and disturbances affect ecosystem functions in headwater streams and lakes.

Scott Capell
Scott Capell
Environmental Technician

Environmental Technician for both field and lab work on environmental effects

David Kreutzweiser
David Kreutzweiser
Research Scientist, Emeritus

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