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Association of reduced riparian vegetation cover in agricultural landscapes with coarse detritus dynamics in lowland streams

Reid, D.J, Lake, S., Quinn, G.P and Reich, P. 2008, Association of reduced riparian vegetation cover in agricultural landscapes with coarse detritus dynamics in lowland streams, Marine and freshwater research, vol. 59, no. 11, pp. 998-1014, doi: 10.1071/MF08012.

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Title Association of reduced riparian vegetation cover in agricultural landscapes with coarse detritus dynamics in lowland streams
Author(s) Reid, D.J
Lake, S.
Quinn, G.P
Reich, P.
Journal name Marine and freshwater research
Volume number 59
Issue number 11
Start page 998
End page 1014
Total pages 17
Publisher CSIRO
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1323-1650
1448-6059
Keyword(s) allochthonous input
canopy cover
coarse particulate organic matter
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
litter trap
Summary Studies were conducted on streams flowing through agricultural floodplains in south-eastern Australia to quantify whether reductions in riparian canopy cover were associated with alterations to the input and benthic standing stocks of coarse allochthonous detritus. Comparisons were made among three farmland reaches and three reaches within reserves with intact cover of remnant overstorey trees. Detritus inputs to these reaches were measured monthly over 2 years using litter traps. Direct inputs to streams within the reserves were relatively high (550–617 g ash free dry weight (AFDW) m–2 year–1), but were lower at farmland reaches with the lowest canopy covers (83–117 gAFDW m–2 year–1). Only a minor fraction of the total allochthonous input (<10%) entered any of the study reaches laterally. The mean amounts of benthic detritus were lowest in the most open farmland reaches. Standing stocks of benthic detritus were found to be highly patchy across a large number of agricultural streams, but were consistently very low where the streamside canopy cover was below ~35%. Canopy cover should be restored along cleared agricultural streams because allochthonous detritus is a major source of food and habitat for aquatic ecosystems. Given the absence of pristine lowland streams in south-eastern Australia, those reaches with the most intact remnant overstorey canopies should be used to guide restoration.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/MF08012
Field of Research 060204 Freshwater Ecology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, CSIRO
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017485

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