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Litter retention in Tasmanian headwater streams after clear-fell logging


Watson, A and Barmuta, LA, Litter retention in Tasmanian headwater streams after clear-fell logging, Hydrobiologia: The International Journal on Limnology and Marine Sciences, 637, (1) pp. 197-206. ISSN 0018-8158 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1007/s10750-009-9996-1


Clear-fell logging around small headwater streams in Tasmanian wet eucalypt forests was predicted to affect both the retention of leaf litter and the composition and size of leaf packs. Retention structures were surveyed in six natural streams and six streams in forest regenerated 3�5 years after clear-fell and burn logging. Logged streams had more wood, but retained less leaves than natural streams, and consequently had fewer and smaller leaf packs. Leaf packs from natural streams contained 200% more leaves, bark and twigs than packs from logged streams. The effect of buoyancy on leaf retention was assessed with release and recapture of marked Eucalyptus obliqua and Nothofagus cunninghamii leaves. Eucalypt leaves were more likely to be trapped by retention structures on the bed of the stream, while smaller, more buoyant N. cunninghamii leaves were mainly trapped by leaf packs. Leaf packs in natural streams were formed on a matrix of small twigs and long strips of bark, shed from the upper branches of mature stringybark eucalypts, while leaf retention was reduced in logged streams because there are no mature trees to provide effective retention structures. Changes to the channel form increase both discharge and sedimentation. These factors have strong implications for downstream nutrient processing and riverine food webs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Watson, A (Dr Anne Watson)
UTAS Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
ID Code:59360
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2009-11-30
Last Modified:2014-12-17
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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