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Global patterns and drivers of ecosystem functioning in rivers and riparian zones


Tiegs, SD and Costello, DM and Isken, MW and Woodward, G and McIntyre, PB and Gessner, MO and Chauvet, E and Griffiths, NA and Flecker, AS and Barmuta, LA and Zwart, JA, et al., Global patterns and drivers of ecosystem functioning in rivers and riparian zones, Science Advances, 5, (1) Article eaav0486. ISSN 2375-2548 (2019) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2019 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1126/sciadv.aav0486


River ecosystems receive and process vast quantities of terrestrial organic carbon, the fate of which depends strongly on microbial activity. Variation in and controls of processing rates, however, are poorly characterized at the global scale. In response, we used a peer-sourced research network and a highly standardized carbon processing assay to conduct a global-scale field experiment in greater than 1000 river and riparian sites. We found that Earth's biomes have distinct carbon processing signatures. Slow processing is evident across latitudes, whereas rapid rates are restricted to lower latitudes. Both the mean rate and variability decline with latitude, suggesting temperature constraints toward the poles and greater roles for other environmental drivers (e.g., nutrient loading) toward the equator. These results and data set the stage for unprecedented "next-generation biomonitoring" by establishing baselines to help quantify environmental impacts to the functioning of ecosystems at a global scale.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ecosystem functioning, river ecosystems, riparian, terrestrial organic carbon, biomonitoring
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Ecosystem function
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
ID Code:152634
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:92
Deposited By:Research Performance and Analysis
Deposited On:2022-08-22
Last Modified:2022-10-28
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